LAHORE - Saudi Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif have pledged to further friendly relations between the two brotherly countries. “Saudi Arabia strongly wants to see Pakistan economically and politically stable and the day is not far when Islamabad will emerge as a great power in the world, the Saudi prince said while speaking at a luncheon hosted by CM Shahbaz in his honour at Governor’s House on Saturday.The chief minister said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoyed strong historical, cultural and fraternal relations and their people were bound together by deep-rooted religious and brotherly ties. He said Saudi Arabia had always helped Pakistan whether it was a war, earthquake, flood or any other natural calamity. He said Khadim-e-Harmain Sharifain Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, the Saudi govt and the people of Saudi Arabia had always extended the fullest support to Pakistan. He hoped the recent visit of the Saudi prince to Pakistan would further strengthen brotherly and friendly ties between the two countries. Besides members of the Saudi delegation, federal and provincial ministers, Senator Professor Sajid Mir, Liaquat Baloch, legislators, senior government officials, ulema, industrialists and prominent personalities from different walks of life were present on the occasion. The chief minister said: “The people of Pakistan give great importance to their ties with Saudi Arabia; Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif openly acknowledges this fact and desires to further strengthen this relationship. I am sure this cooperation would further increase in the days to come.” Referring to the issues being faced by Pakistan, Shahbaz Sharif said the country was facing major problems like energy crisis, terrorism and extremism. “Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is determined to steer the country out of the crises and making sincere efforts for this purpose,” he said. Shahbaz Sharif welcomed the Saudi prince and the members of his delegation in the historical city of Lahore and said the Muslim world was proud of Saudi Arabia as it had rendered invaluable services in the field of knowledge and training. He said Khadim-e-Harmain Sharifain Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz had stood by Pakistan at every critical juncture and the people of Pakistan highly valued his generous cooperation. He was sure Saudi Arabia would cooperate with Pakistan in future as well, adding the visit of the Saudi prince would cement the existing brotherly ties and increase cooperation in different sectors. Saudi Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, in his address, praised the historical city of Lahore and said the love he and his delegation received in the city would always be remembered by them. He said Saudi Arabia attached great importance to the historical and friendly ties with Pakistan and desired political and economic stability of the country. He hoped the day was not far when Pakistan would emerge as a great country. He added the relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia lasting and would further strengthen in future. He pointed out that during the meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, promotion of relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia had been discussed, adding the PM was a close friend of Saudi Arabia. Earlier, Saudi Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz held a meeting with Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif at the Governor’s House. Punjab Governor Ch Sarwar, MNA Hamza Shahbaz Sharif and members of the Saudi delegation were present on the occasion. Matters of mutual interest and promotion of bilateral relations were discussed at the meeting. The Saudi delegation also witnessed a cultural show at the Governor’s House.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 09-Feb-2014 here.