Islamabad - Governor of Saudi Arabia’s Tabuk province Prince Fahad bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz on Monday held intense interactions with civil and military leaders and exchanged views on matters of mutual interest including regional security.

The visiting dignitary who arrived on a daylong visit was received upon the Islamabad International Airport by the Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak.

He called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa at GHQ in Rawalpindi and later also separately called on President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad.

A statement issued by the military’s media wing Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said matters of mutual interest including regional security situation came under discussion during Prince Fahad’s meeting with the army chief.

President Alvi in his meeting with the price said that Pakistan greatly values its close fraternal and brotherly relations with Saudi Arabia and is desirous of further enhancing these relations in all fields.

The President emphasised that recent leadership level interactions will further cement the relations between the two countries.

He expressed satisfaction over the accelerating trade and investment relations and underscored that Pakistan remains committed to the protection of Harmain Sharifain.

President Alvi stated that Pakistani expatriates are making valuable contributions in the progress and development of Saudi Arabia. He added that Pakistani community can play an important role in Vision 2030 projects.

Prince Fahad Bin Sultan, on the occasion, said the people and government of Saudi Arabia hold Pakistan in very high esteem.

He said that strong brotherly relations which exist between the two countries are mainly because of close people-to-people contact and the services and role of Pakistani community in the progress and development of Saudi Arabia.

The visiting dignitary expressed the hope that the existing brotherly relations between the two countries will further grow in future.

Later, the Prince also called on Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad and discussed bilateral relations. Defence Minister Pervez Khattak and the foreign secretary were also present on the occasion.

Saudi Arabia which has brotherly relations with Pakistan has recently extended generous financial help to Islamabad to overcome its economic woes.

In December last year, the country’s foreign reserves were bolstered as the second $1 billion tranche was received from the kingdom. Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves then stood at 9.24 billion. The third installment from Riyadh is expected this month.

Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Riyadh on the invitation of King Salman bin Abdul Aziz to participate in the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Conference in October.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia agreed to negotiate a free trade agreement (FTA) for trade liberalisation and increasing the volume between the two countries.

Riyadh offered Islamabad to negotiate the FTA directly or sign a preferential trade agreement (PTA) first for providing mutual trade opportunity in each other’s markets.