ISLAMABAD - Saudi Crown Prince and Defence Minister of Saudi Arabia Salman Bin Abdul Aziz who is currently visiting Pakistan and leading a high-level delegation spent a busy day here on Sunday.

Crown prince who arrived on three-day visit on Saturday met a number of senior government functionaries including Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif and Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.Saudi Crown Prince called on Minister for Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif here at the Punjab House and discussed cooperation in the field of defence and training of military personnel.

During the meeting, the Minister for Defence warmly greeted the distinguished guest and said that the visit of the Crown Prince is highly significant, adding, “We thank Excellency for undertaking this most important visit at the most important time”. Both the sides discussed matters of mutual cooperation in the field of defence and showed keen interest in extending cooperation in the field of defence and matters of defence trainings and cooperation in the field of education was broadly discussed.

Saudi Arabia greatly appreciated the capacity of Pakistan defence industry and cooperation in the field of defence production also came under discussion.

Khawaja Asif reiterated that Saudi Arabia held great importance for all Muslims across the world and added this was the first visit of Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz after assuming the charge of Defence Minister.

The Defence Minister hoped that the visit would further enhance ties and give boost to relations.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia agreed to exchange of military personnel for training and joint venture in defence production.  The Minister reiterated that both the countries could be self-sufficient in defence equipment production for both the countries besides exporting to international market.

Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq also called on Saudi Crown Prince and Defence Minister Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud here on Sunday and exchanged views on matters of mutual interest and ways of strengthening relations.

Referring to the brotherly ties with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, the Speaker said that both the countries were intertwined in religious and cultural bonds which have gained strength due to the commitment of ruling hierarchies on both sides. He said that Pakistan greatly values Saudi Arabian support during natural calamities and crisis.  The Speaker expressed his desire to further intensify cooperation between the two sides.   He remarked that a regular exchange of high level visits would play an important role in further strengthening relations.

The Crown Prince termed relations between the two sides as historic and unique.

He said that Pakistan is the closest friend and ally of the Kingdom.

He said that existing relations would be strengthened in days to come and cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan would be further diversified for mutual benefit of both the countries.

He said that Saudi Arabia strongly desires to see a prosperous, stable and economically vibrant Pakistan. The Crown Prince said Saudi Arabia will extend all out support to Pakistan in diverse fields.

He said that Saudi Arabia would always stand by its Pakistani brethren whenever needed.

Meanwhile, Minister of State of Saudi Arabia on Foreign Affairs Dr. Nizar Bin Obaid Madani called on Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi and discussed bilateral, regional and international matters of mutual interest. The meeting was held in a very cordial and friendly atmosphere in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday. The Special Assistant to Prime Minister, while welcoming the Saudi Minister of State, stated that the Government of Pakistan accorded high priority to its relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

He underscored that Prime Minister of Pakistan was desirous of taking the bilateral relations to new heights.

Referring to the existing close and fraternal relations, the Special Assistant remarked that the destinies of the two countries were interlinked and the relations were marked by mutual trust and understanding.

He emphasised the need to initiate a new era of strategic relationship between the two brotherly countries and also to further enhance bilateral ties in diverse areas, particularly in economic, trade and investment sectors, to impart greater substance to the existing cordial relations.  

Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Madani stated that the fact that the Crown Prince had chosen Pakistan as the first country for his Asian visit, is symbolic of the importance Saudi Arabia attached to its relations with Pakistan.

Recalling the recent high level visits to Pakistan by senior members of the Saudi Arabian leadership, including Foreign Minister, Deputy Defence Minister and Chairman Saudi Tourism and Antiquities, Dr Madani expressed satisfaction that the relations were moving in the right direction.

He emphasised that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were linked with bonds of brotherhood, rooted in common culture and faith of Islam.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was desirous of enhancing ties with Pakistan in diverse areas and informed that during the visit, the Crown Prince would be exchanging views with the Pakistani leadership on the whole range of bilateral and international issues of mutual interest, he said.

The two countries shared a common vision and challenges, which needed to be addressed together, he added.