Shehbaz begins Saudi visit with prayers in Madina

PM thanks Saudi leadership for supporting Pakistan in difficult times

April 28, 2022
The prime minister was received by governor of Madina. PHOTO: APP


Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Thursday arrived in the holy city of Madina on Thursday evening in the first leg of his three-day visit to Saudi Arabia at the invitation of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.

The Prime Minister’s Office said on social media website, Twitter, that Madina Governor Faisal bin Salman Al Saud along with several top Saudi officials received the prime minister and his delegation at the airport.

Later, Prime Minister Shehbaz and Governor Faisal held a brief meeting and exchanged views on bilateral relations. The prime minister also went to the Prophet’s Mosque and visited Roza-e-Rasool and offered special prayers and Nawafil.

Prime Minister Shehbaz is accompanied by federal ministers and parliamentarians, including Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Muftah Ismail, Shahzain Bugti, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Khawaja Asif, Chaudhry Salik Hussain, Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Mohsin Dawar.

Before embarking in his maiden visit as the prime minister, Shehbaz said in a video message that Pakistan was thankful to Saudi Arabia for its “consistent support” in difficult times, adding that his visit to the kingdom after taking oath as the prime minister reflected this “special relationship”.

“We are profoundly grateful for its [Saudi Arabia’s] consistent support to Pakistan in its difficult hours,” he said. “I would also like to convey sincere good wishes to Pakistani expats in the Kingdom,” he added, terming them key partners in fortifying the bilateral ties.

Shehbaz also thanked Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman for the invitation. He lauded Saudi commitment to the Muslim causes and said he looked forward to “interaction with the Saudi leadership to review the bilateral ties” and take them to the “unknown heights”.

Also, Shehbaz said in a tweet, before leaving that Islamabad: “Today, I am embarking on a visit to Saudi Arabia to renew and reaffirm our bonds of brotherhood and friendship,” adding that he would hold wide-ranging discussions with the Saudi leadership.

The Foreign Office said that during the visit, the prime minister would have bilateral interaction with the Saudi leadership, with particular focus on advancing economic, trade and investment ties and creation of greater opportunities for the Pakistani workforce in Saudi Arabia.

“On the invitation of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif will visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 28-30 April 2022,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.

“This would be the Prime Minister’s first visit abroad after assuming Office earlier this month. The Prime Minister will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including key members of the Cabinet. The two sides will also exchange views on a range of regional and international issues of mutual interest,” it said.

Saudi Arabia is home to more than two million Pakistanis expatriates, who are contributing to the progress, prosperity and economic development of the two countries. “Regular high-level visits are a key feature of this special relationship,” the Foreign Office said.

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The Pakistan-Saudi ties were complemented by close mutual collaboration at regional and international fora. “Saudi Arabia is a member of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir… the people of Pakistan hold the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in the highest esteem,” the statement added.


(With input from APP)


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