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Pakistan will always stand by Saudi Arabia, says Imran Khan during maiden visit, seeks to play role of mediator in West Asia

Amid reports that Imran Khan Pakistan might seek economic assistance from Saudi Arabia on his visit, Imran told international media on Wednesday that Pakistan has a special bond with the country and that they will not allow anyone to attack the country. He also met with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi with whom he discussed bilateral relations.

Imran arrived in Saudi on Tuesday where he traveled to media and visited the prophet's mosque. He then flew to Jiddah, Saudi Arabia's port city on the Red Sea on Wednesday, where he met with King Salman at a luncheon at Peace Palace, after which he left for UAE.

 Pakistan will always stand by Saudi Arabia, says Imran Khan during maiden visit, seeks to play role of mediator in West Asia

Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan, left, meets Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, on Wednesday. AP


Imran spoke to the Arabiya TV emphasising the fact that Pakistan will always stand with Saudi Arabia. Pakistan “always stands by Saudi Arabia,” Imran said, “Saudi Arabia helped Pakistan when Pakistan needed help,” he also said, according to tweets from the Saudi-based network.

In an exclusive interview to Saudi Gazette, Imran also stated that Pakistan would like to play the role of a mediator in West Asia to bring the Muslim world together.

"I would like to ensure peace in West Asia because it is very distressing for Muslims to see conflict among Muslim nations. If you look at the Muslim world... in Libya, in Somalia, Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan too. But Pakistan has controlled terrorism. In West Asia, we would like our role as reconciliator to bring the Muslim world together. This would be our main effort," he said.

On Wednesday night, Imran arrived in UAE where he met Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces.

The two leaders discussed ways to further enhance strong bilateral relations in all fields. The discussion also figured major regional issues, especially the Palestinian cause, the situation in Yemen, the Iranian interference in the region, the situation in Afghanistan and the means to deal with these challenges, reported Saudi Gazette.

The Crown Prince of UAE also tweeted about the meetings.

Mohamed Bin Zayed spoke of UAE's determination to maintain ties between the countries. "The UAE under the leadership the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is determined to maintain robust ties with all its friendly countries on the basis of mutual respect, trust and common understanding of each other's interests," the Crown Prince of UAE said to Khaleej Times. 

He reaffirmed the country's keenness to promote the values of peace, tolerance, and peaceful co-existence on the regional and international levels.

On similar lines, Imran emphasised on Pakistan resolve to maintain resilient relations based on collaboration with the UAE across all domains and to continue to cultivate constructive partnerships between the two countries, said the report.

According to reports, the meetings were attended by Minister of Interior Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Saud Bin Naif, Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance Sheikh Abdullatif Al Asheikh, Minister of Commerce and Investment Majed Al-Qasabi, Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Media Awwad Al-Awwad, and other senior civil and military officials. Pakistan finance minister Asad Umar and foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi were also present.

Adel Al-Jubeir reaffirmed the depth of the Saudi-Pakistani relations, describing them as historical and strategic, reported Saudi Gazette. He also stated that ways of strengthening and intensifying strategic bilateral relations in all fields were discussed during the meeting.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Sep 20, 2018 14:09:26 IST