Pak, Saudi to work together to ensure stability in both regions, further improve economic ties

Islamabad:  Pakistan and Saudi Arabia on Tuesday agreed to work together to ensure stability in both the regions, as they decided to further improve their economic ties and expand cooperation in new areas to boost their fraternal relationship.

The understanding was reached at a meeting between Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his visiting Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al Saud.

“We are focused very much on the economic side of the relationship and on opportunities to expand it beyond traditional areas of investment,” Prince Faisal said while addressing a joint news conference alongside Qureshi.

Prince Faisal, who arrived on a day-long visit to Islamabad, said the establishment of the Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordination Council (SP-SCC) was an important vehicle to take the bilateral relationships between the two countries to new levels.

The SP-SCC was set up during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to the Gulf Kingdom in May and he is the co-chair of the council with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

Both the countries will encourage their business communities to interact more frequently to further strengthen the economic relations, Prince Faisal said.

He said that security and stability were the key to economic prosperity and both countries had agreed to work together on ensuring stability in each other’s regions.

“We have agreed to work on regional issues, whether it is Kashmir, Palestine or Yemen. We will work together to ensure stability in both our regions,” he said.

He also stressed upon expanding bilateral coordination in the areas of technology and the environment.

The Saudi minister said his country values the contributions made by the Pakistani community in the economy of the Kingdom and in the talks with his counterpart they discussed more opportunities for Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia.

On his part, Qureshi said the talks primarily focused on promoting bilateral trade and investment.

He said good progress was made to activate the SP-SCC, including appointment of focal persons in the countries to oversee progress.

Qureshi said there are immense opportunities for Saudi Arabia for investment in SEZs under the USD 60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, while our skilled, semi-skilled workforce and professionals can also make significant contributions to the Saudi vision 2030.

He said Pakistan wanted to expand relations with Saudi Arabia in the areas of culture, information, media, entertainment and sports. They also discussed cooperation in the area of climate change.

Qureshi also thanked Saudi Arabia for supporting Pakistan in the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and playing its part in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir.

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