ISLAMABAD : Saudi Information Minister Dr Awwad Bin Saleh Al-Awwad during his three days visit called on Prime Minister Imran Khan, COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa and conveyed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia(KSA) fully supported Pakistan’s efforts to bring peace and stability in the region.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Information Minister Fawad Hussain Chaudhry were also present during the meeting with Imran Khan.
During the meeting, the two sides also discussed bilateral relations. The Saudi minister conveyed a message of felicitation to PM Khan on behalf of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman and extended an invitation to the PM to visit Saudi Arabia.
Awwad’s meeting with Khan comes a day after he held a meeting with Qureshi during which he conveyed Saudi Arabia’s desire to work with the new government.
Earlier, the Saudi minister also met the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa in Rawalpindi.
The visiting minister praised the strong friendly relations between Riyadh and Islamabad and assured the government of full support in its struggle for peace and stability.
In his meeting with Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri, the Saudi minister was requested to increase the quota for Pakistani pilgrims by 40,000 to 45,000 besides relaxation of visa policy for people who wished to perform Umrah.
Qadri also requested the Saudi government to provide land for Pakistan House near the holy sites in both Makkah and Madina to facilitate the Pakistani pilgrims.
The Saudi minister assured Haq that his country will increase the quota of pilgrims in next year’s Haj. He also promised to facilitate the pilgrims.
Regarding the provision of land, Awwad said that he would pass the request onto Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and hoped that the matter would be decided once Prime Minister Khan visits Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi minister had also called upon Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. In a tweet, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) Spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal shared that Saudi information minister conveyed Saudi leadership’s desire to work closely with the PTI government to attain “true potential of bilateral relations”.
FM Qureshi stressed for enhanced economic relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The foreign minister also invited Saudi investors to invest in Pakistan.
The Saudi Information Minister Dr Awwad Bin Saleh Al-Awwad prior to departure while talking to the media at the nor Khan airbase termed his three-day visit to Pakistan “as very fruitful” and positive. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, the minister said were enjoying
special relationship and hoped that his trip would further strengthen the ties.
He said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have agreed to jointly work for progress and prosperity of people. Pakistan was a brotherly country and both governments and people enjoyed cordial relations.
He hoped to further strengthen the Pak-Saudi relations during the tenure of the newly elected government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. He thanked Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain for inviting him to visit Pakistan.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Additional Secretary Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Shafqat Jalil and other high ranking officials were present at the airbase
to see off the visiting dignitaries.
Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said that the visit of Saudi
information Minister to Pakistan would boost cordial relation between the two brotherly Islamic countries.
He said that both the countries were willing to promote cooperation. He said that Saudi Arabia had also been interested in promoting people to people contact and the visiting minister had also held meetings with different people.
The delegation headed by Saudi Information Minister Dr Awwad comprised Advisor to Saudi Information Minister, Fahim Bin Hamid Al Khalid. Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf Bin Saeed Ahmad Al-Maliki was also present in the bilateral meetings.