ISLAMABAD                  -          Pakistan on Wednesday assured Saudi Arabia of support to protect the Kingdom’s territorial integrity.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi called his Saudi counterpart, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud to discuss the recent missile attack and the coronavirus pandemic.

Qureshi reiterated Pakistan’s strong condemnation of the recent missile attacks launched towards Riyadh and Jazan, noting that the timely action of Saudi Defence Forces had helped save lives.  He reaffirmed Pakistan’s full solidarity with the brotherly people of Saudi Arabia and support for the security and territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia, an official statement issued after the telephonic conversation said. Over the weekend, Saudi Arabia’s air defences intercepted two ballistic missiles above the kingdom’s capital, Riyadh, and the city of Jizan, the first attack on the Kingdom’s capital in more than a year.

Saudi military spokesman Turki al-Malki blamed the foiled assaults on Yemen’s Houthi rebels and said the missiles were destroyed. Al-Malki said the interception of the missiles resulted in “debris scattering on some residential areas” in Riyadh and Jizan. Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television said US Patriot missile defence systems were used in the interception.

Qureshi also expressed deep condolences on the loss of life due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in Saudi Arabia. The Foreign Minister commended the steps taken by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in arresting the spread of the virus.

He briefed Prince Faisal bin Farhan on the measures being taken by Pakistan to contain coronavirus.

The Foreign Minister felicitated his Saudi counterpart on the successful initiative of convening the Virtual G-20 Leaders’ Summit, and stated that Saudi leadership of the G-20 was key to forging a coordinated and coherent global response to the crisis. In this context, the Foreign Minister also highlighted Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call for debt relief and restructuring for developing states to enable them to free up resources to combat the disease, save precious lives, and shore up economies.

Foreign Minister Prince Faisal thanked FM Qureshi for his call in the context of Covid-19 and underlined that the steps taken by KSA to stem the outbreak were essential for saving lives.

He also expressed appreciation for Pakistan’s principled stance on the missile attacks and highlighted the steps taken by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to counter such attacks.

 

The Saudi Foreign Minister thanked the Foreign Minister for his felicitations on successful convening of Virtual G20 Leaders’ Conference and affirmed that a number of measures, including the proposal for debt re-structuring, were deliberated upon during the Conference to help tackle the economic consequences of Covid-19. “The two Foreign Ministers underscored the importance of collaborative endeavors to deal with the situation and agreed to stay closely engaged,” the statement said.