Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said Pakistan was thankful to Saudi Arabia for its “consistent support” in difficult times and his visit to the kingdom after taking oath as the premier reflected this “special relationship”.
In a video message, Shehbaz said he was delighted that his first visit abroad was to Saudi Arabia which reflected Pakistan’s historic and special relations with Riyadh.
The premier said Pakistan and Saudis were bound by deep-rooted ties built on solid foundations of mutual trust. “We are profoundly grateful for its consistent support to Pakistan in its difficult hours,” he said, adding that Pakistan always stood by Saudis and would continue to do so.
He also thanked Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman for the invite and lauded his 2030 vision for achieving “greater progress” for his people.
Shehbaz also lauded commitment to the Muslim causes as he looked forward to “interaction with the Saudi leadership to review the bilateral ties” and take them to the “unknown heights”.
“I would also like to convey sincere good wishes to Pakistani expats in the Kingdom,” the prime minister said calling them key partners in fortifying ties with Pakistan.
Earlier, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif left for Saudi Arabia on a three-day visit.
Federal Ministers and parliamentarians, including Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Miftah Ismail, Shahzain Bugti, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Khawaja Asif, Ch Salik Hussain, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, and Mohsin Dawar accompanied the prime minister.
“Today, I am embarking on a visit to Saudi Arabia to renew and reaffirm our bonds of brotherhood and friendship,” the prime minister said in a tweet ahead of his three-day visit to Saudi Arabia on April 28-30.
Today I am embarking on a visit to Saudi Arabia to renew & reaffirm our bonds of brotherhood & friendship. I will have wide-ranging discussions with Saudi leadership. KSA is one of our greatest friends & as Custodian of the Two Holy Places, has a special place in all our hearts.
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) April 28, 2022
PM Shehbaz, who will undertake his maiden foreign trip on the invitation of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, said he would hold wide-ranging discussions with the Saudi leadership.
“Saudi Arabia is one of our greatest friends and as Custodian of the Two Holy Places, has a special place in all our hearts,” he said.
During the visit, he will have bilateral interaction with the Saudi leadership, with a particular focus on advancing economic, trade, and investment ties and creating greater opportunities for the Pakistani workforce in Saudi Arabia.
The two sides will also exchange views on a range of regional and international issues of mutual interest.
‘New chapter in friendship’
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s historic visit to Saudi Arabia would open up a new chapter in friendship between the two countries.
Marriyum said that the visit was a manifestation of a historic relationship based on brotherhood, warmth, and mutual trust.
She said that after four years of confusion and turmoil, Pakistan’s relations with friendly countries were being mended now. She congratulated the nation on the resumption of the journey of stability, development, and prosperity.