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Saudi Arabia FM confident Pakistan visit will deliver ‘significant benefits’

Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud says he was impressed by ‘pro-active’ approach of Pakistan
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar address a joint press conference in Islamabad on Aprl 16, 2024. AFP
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar address a joint press conference in Islamabad on Aprl 16, 2024. AFP

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud has said he was “confident” that his Pakistan visit would deliver “significant benefits” for the two countries in the upcoming months by realising the potential of untapped economic development.

“We were extremely impressed by the very proactive attitude that we saw in our meetings, especially with the [Special] Investment [Facilitation] Council,” he said at a joint press conference alongside his Pakistani counterpart Ishaq Dar in Islamabad on Tuesday.

Prince Faisal-led delegation landed in Pakistan on Monday, days after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif agreed to expedite the initial tranche of the $5 billion kingdom’s investment in Pakistan.

Earlier in the day, the visiting dignitary met with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and President Asif Ali Zardari. The premier told the Saudi foreign minister that both countries needed to “closely to expedite” the first phase of the kingdom’s investments in the country under the new arrangement.

At the presser, Prince Faisal mentioned that the Saudi delegation saw a “very strong” business focused approach on addressing the challenges, opportunities, and highlighted the work they can do.

“I feel very confident that the results of this visit and the results of the work being done between the two teams with this attitude and with this approach of focused on results focused on overcoming hurdles will deliver significant benefits for our countries significantly will accelerate the process of achieving those investments that we are looking at together.”

He went on to add that there were significant opportunities to increase the level of investment that was already on the table and other opportunities that they could pursue. “This is a very very positive meeting from our perspective.”

The Saudi FM added that the engagement with the Pakistani side laid the groundwork for “significant and important work” to be done in the next few months in order to achieve all of the potential that exists.

“We strongly believe in the potential Pakistan holds, especially in the economic development side there is a lot of untapped potential that needs to be tapped. Working together, we will do what we can with our colleagues in the Government of Pakistan to make that happen.”

When asked about the recent escalation in the Middle East, he said that the international efforts for a ceasefire in Gaza have been “wholly insufficient.”

He described the “unacceptable situation” in Gaza as a “complete failure” of the international system. He demanded an immediate ceasefire and access to humanitarian aid.

Prince Faisal went on to add that the world saw a turnaround on the issue of aid that happened after six Western aid workers were killed by Israel. “It did not happen after 33,000 Palestinians were killed. This shows you the continuing double standards that we have to deal with and live with. The reality is the international community is not living up to its responsibility. We must do more to end the suffering of the people of Gaza.”

He added that they were already in an unstable region and the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza was inflaming the region. “De-escalation must be everybody’s priority,” he said and called for resolving issues via dialogue.

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