ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif left for Saudi Arabia on Monday to attend Saudi military exercises, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
The army chief is travelling to Jeddah on the invitation of Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud to witness the military exercise, ‘Sword of Abdullah’.
The king of Bahrain, crown prince of the UAE, prime minister of Jordan and other military commanders from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries will also be present on the occasion.
The army chief is expected to hold bilateral meetings with the Saudi leadership on the sidelines of the event. This is the army chief’s second visit to Saudi Arabia in three months, following an earlier visit in February.
Reports suggest that Saudi Arabia is seeking increased defence cooperation with Pakistan in the wake of developments in the Middle East, particularly in Syria.
Pakistan is also keen to sell military equipment, including JF-17 Thunder fighter jets, to Saudi Arabia.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2014.
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