ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif along with Army Chief General Raheel Sharif will embark on two-day visit to Saudi Arabia tomorrow to meet top leadership of the kingdom and witness an ongoing military exercise in which troops from 21 countries, including Pakistan, are participating.

A large number of other heads of states and governments have also been invited to witness the military exercise ‘North Thunder’ and its closing ceremony. The main goal of the exercise in the northern region of KSA is to improve training in responding to the threat posed by terrorist groups.

Sources in the government informed that Pakistan’s civil and military leadership would discuss with Saudi Arabia the whole range of defence and economic relations between the two states and it is also expected that Saudi Arabia would come up with some more pledges of direct investment in Pakistan, particularly in energy sector.

The role of Pakistan in the counter-terrorism military alliance led by Saudi Arabia would also came under discussion during the meetings as Islamabad had already announced to be part of the alliance to deal with this menace hitting the people across the globe.

Sources in the government confirmed that Pakistan would stand by its commitment of standing shoulder to shoulder with their Saudi brethren in case of any threat to the territorial integrity of the kingdom.

The role of Pakistan in diluting tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran would also figure in the meeting between the two sides as the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is also expected to visit Pakistan later this month.

The leadership of both the countries had appreciated the decision of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to visit, along with General Raheel, the capitals of both Saudi Arabia and Iran for easing tension, after which the severed diplomatic relations between the two countries were restored.

Pakistan has consistently supported all regional and international efforts to combat militancy, extremism and terrorism and, to this end, has extended its full support and cooperation to the international community.