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Friday, July 19, 2024  
13 Muharram 1446  

Saudi Arabia FM-led delegation lands in Pakistan

They are expected to meet PM, president, COAS
Saudi FM-led high-level delegation lands in Pakistan - Aaj News

A “high-level” Saudi Arabia delegation led by Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan arrived in Pakistan on Monday on a two-day visit.

Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar received the kingdom’s foreign minister in Islamabad. Sources said that a delegation of 100 members would land in the South Asian country. Some of the members would arrive in Pakistan after some days.

The visit comes after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s first foreign trip to Saudi Arabia since assuming the office in March.

In his trip to the kingdom, PM Shehbaz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman agreed to expedite the first wave of a planned $5 billion Saudi investment package for Pakistan.

Last year, the crown prince directed the Saudi Development Fund to study increasing the deposit amount in the State of Bank of Pakistan to $5 billion. In September 2023, then-caretaker prime minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar said Saudi Arabia would invest up to $25 billion in Pakistan over the next two to five years in various sectors.

“The visit takes place essentially to expedite follow up on the understanding reached between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman during their recent meeting in Makkah to enhance bilateral economic cooperation between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia,” the Foreign Office said in a statement on Sunday.

According to the FO statement, the delegation comprises Saudi Minister of Water and Agriculture Abdul Rahman Abdul Mohsen Al-Fadley, Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Ibrahim AlKhorayef, Deputy Minister of Investment Badr AlBadr, Head of Saudi Special Committee Mohammad Mazyed Al Towaijri, and senior officials from the energy ministry and Saudi Fund for General Investments.

The Saudi delegation is expected to hold meetings with the president, the PM, the foreign minister, the chief of army staff, and the SIFC apex committee, the FO said.

Last year, a caretaker government member said that Saudi Arabia has shown interest in acquiring government stakes in Pakistan’s Reko Diq gold and copper mine.

Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO), which owns a 50% stake in the mine, considers the mine one of the world’s largest underdeveloped copper-gold areas.

Pakistan has previously said Barrick would invest $10 billion in the project. Barrick in August said it was open to bringing in Saudi Arabia as one of its partners in the mine.

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Reko Diq

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