Aaj English TV

Saturday, July 13, 2024  
07 Muharram 1446  

Saudi crown prince to sign host of projects during Pakistan visit: foreign minister

Says no firm date has been given for MBS visit yet
File photo.
File photo.

A day after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman signed a memorandum for an economic corridor between India and the Middle East, Pakistan’s foreign minister confirmed that the prince’s visit to the country has still not been finalised.

However, speaking to Shaukat Piracha on Aaj News, caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani said that the visit would involve the signing of multiple MOUs but no firm date had been set yet.

Jilani said that Saudi Arabia is a close friend of Pakistan and there are multiple layers to the relations between the two countries including political and economic dimensions.

Moreover, he said, the love people of Pakistan have for Saudi Arabia is unparalleled.

Jilani said that there was no ‘firm date’ for the visit yet but added that the government as well as the people of Pakistan will always welcome a top-level visit from Saudi Arabia.

When asked if the matter of the visit had been formally conveyed and the visit was confirmed, he expressed hope that the visit would take place because it was the wish of Prince Salman as well.

He referred to an old statement of the the crown prince where he had called himself Pakistan’s ambassador in Saudi Arabia.

He said that matters related to the visit had to be decided at the diplomatic level according to the crown prince’s convenience. However, he added that MBS would be given a royal welcome whenever he visits the country.

Jilani was of the view that the visit was of much importance, saying that many Gulf states showed their interest in investing in Pakistan when the Special Investment Facilitation Council – a hybrid civil-military forum – was established to attract investment.

“A dozen agreements have been finalised with Saudi Arabia. Agreements will be signed upon his Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to Pakistan,” he said.

He said projects under the SIFC include agriculture, IT, mining and energy and countries have developed interest in the projects. He also said that since the creation of SIFC, Saudi Arabia’s involvement in Pakistan has intensified.

News of a visit by MBS had emerged into the lead-up to the G20 conference in India, with rumours that he could stop in Pakistan for a few hours. However, the visit has not yet materialised.

Speaking of a possible mediation over the Kashmir issue, Jilani said Saudi Arabia had always helped Pakistan whenever it had a conflict with any country.

He added that Saudi Arabia was a trustworthy partner of Pakistan and whenever it dealt with India, Pakistan was assured that its interest would be kept in mind.

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Mohammad Bin Salman

Saudia Arabia