ISLAMABAD (Online) - President Asif Ali Zardari conferred 'Hilal-i-Pakistan on Vice Admiral Dakheel Allah Bin Ahmed Al Waqdani, Commander Royal Saudi Naval Forces, in recognition of his endeavours for strengthening cooperation between the naval forces of the two states. Earlier, talking to the Saudi commander who called on him at Aiwan-i-Sadr on Monday, the president praised the contributions of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces commander to promoting and giving further impetus to the existing relationship between the defence forces of the two countries. The Saudi delegates included Rear Admiral Ghasham Bin Manahi Al Qahtani, COS(Log & Supply), Jasim Al Khaldi, Deputy Head of Mission, Saudi Embassy in Pakistan and other members of delegation while Pakistani side included Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, Federal Minister for Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan Affairs and Defence Production, Admiral Noman Bashir, Chief of Naval Staff, Salman Farooqui, Secretary General, Nargis Sethi, Secretary Cabinet, Lt Gen (r) Syed Athar Ali, Secretary Defence, Spokesperson to President Farhatullah Babar and other senior officials. During the meeting, bilateral relations, especially defence cooperation between the two countries, were discussed during the meeting. The president said that Pakistan valued its cordial ties with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and laid emphasised on augmenting socio- economic, trade and defence ties between the two states. Vice Admiral Dakheel Allah Bin Ahmed Al Waqdani expressed the hope that the existing close cooperation in defence and other areas between the two countries would continue growing. The Saudi commander, a graduate of Pakistan Naval Academy received his commission in 1969 as Ensign in the Royal Saudi Naval Forces. He was promoted to the rank of vice admiral and appointed as the commander Royal Saudi Naval Forces on May 9, 2010. Earlier, the Saudi defence delegation, who visited Pakistan on the invitation of Admiral Noman Bashir, landed at the Naval Headquarters where a smartly turned out contingent of Pakistan Navy clad in ceremonial dress presented him the Guard of Honour. Admiral Noman Bashir introduced the visiting dignitary to the Principal Staff Officers at Naval Headquarters. The two defence dignitaries held detailed discussions on professional matters in a meeting.