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The visit of His Royal Highness Prince Saud Al-Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a special significance in our bilateral relations. We consider His Royal Highness’s visit as a historic event as it is the first High level visit from Saudi Arabia since the current democratically elected Government took office.

Pakistan has a profound sense of affinity with Saudi- Arabia and its fraternal people, which is rooted in our common faith, heritage and values. Building on the existing bonds friendship and confidence in Pakistan’s economic future, the two leaders focused on further cooperation in investment, trade, energy and export of skilled and semi-skilled manpower from Pakistan.

This morning His Royal Highness called on the President and the Prime Minister. I also had the pleasure of having an exchange of views. All the meetings were held in a very warm and cordial atmosphere. We are satisfied with the status of our existing cordial and fraternal bilateral relations and we reiterated our mutual desire to further expand and strengthen these fraternal relations in all spheres for the benefit of the people of both countries.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif informed the visiting dignitary about his government’s plans to enhance growth, create jobs and reduce poverty to create a brighter future for the people of Pakistan. He encouraged the Saudi businessmen to benefit from the conducive business environment in Pakistan. It was agreed that there is great potential for increased cooperation in a broad spectrum of areas, specially in investment, energy and agriculture fields.

Saudi Arabia’s positive contribution to support Pakistan’s endeavour for economic development is deeply appreciated. There is a mutual desire to further intensify economic interaction in the years ahead.

The presence of over 1.5 million Pakistani nationals in Saudi Arabia is a proof of our close and fraternal relations. They serve as a bridge between the two countries since they are working hard there to contribute to the development and prosperity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia while remitting approximately US$ 4 billion to Pakistan which contributes to our economy as well.

There is a similarity of views on regional and international matters of mutual interest. In the face of many challenges that confront the region, it is a matter of great satisfaction that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia stand together and share their views on peace and progress of the region. The strong ties between the two fraternal countries are mutually beneficial for dealing with regional and global challenges.

I am confident that the fraternal bonds between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia will continue to grow and gain further strength in the years ahead. It would indeed remain our joint effort to carry forward these bonds of friendship and trust to the future generations.

07 January, 2014

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