NEW YORK: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met Saudi Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister H.R.H. Prince Mohammed Bin Naif Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud as well as the Prime minister of New Zealand John Key in New York on Monday.

Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Syed Tariq Fatemi, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry assisted the Prime Minister during the meeting.

In his meeting with Saudi Crown Prince, both leaders expressed satisfaction on the excellent state of bilateral ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reaffirmed Pakistan’s unequivocal support for protection of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia against any threat.

Nawaz Sharif raised the issue of state atrocities in the Indian held Jammu & Kashmir during the meeting and said that the entire state of Jammu & Kashmir has been reduced to a jail by the Indian forces.

Referring to the recent threatening statements from the Indian Government, the Prime Minister said that such statements will put regional peace and stability in danger.

The Prime Minister stressed that the international community needs to realize the gravity of the issue and should play its role to resolve this political issue through dialogue according to the wishes and aspirations of the people of Jammu & Kashmir in accordance with the UNSC resolutions. Kashmiri people must be allowed to decide about their destiny, the Prime Minister said.

He shared details of Pakistan’s successful Operation Zarb-e-Azb with the Saudi Crown Prince as well as the National Action Plan which is aimed at eliminating extremism from the country. 

There is a need for a collective response by the Muslim world to defeat and eliminate this threat from the region, both leaders reiterated.

The two sides also exchanged views on the regional situation, particularly peace efforts in Afghanistan, as well as Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif highlighted the need to forge unity and harmony within the Muslim world.

Other issues discussed during the meeting included energy co-operation, economic ties, as well as the role of the Pakistani community in Saudi Arabia.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif also met Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand on the sidelines of the 71st UN General Assembly session in New York.

Expressing satisfaction on the state of bilateral relations, both leaders exchanged views on matters of bilateral, regional and global concern.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif highlighted the potential for enhancement of bilateral trade and investment in the backdrop of improved security situation in the country, investor friendly policies of the present government and immense potential for foreign investment in a variety of fields in Pakistan.

The Prime Minister particularly highlighted investment potential in the fields of agriculture, dairy and livestock. 

Pakistan can benefit from New Zealand’s expertise in dairy farming and Halal meat export, the Prime Minister said. He also appreciated the Government of New Zealand for providing scholarships to Pakistani students in higher education and expressed hope that further extension in the number of existing scholarships being offered to Pakistan will continue.

The Prime Minister also discussed the possibility of opening a resident diplomatic mission of New Zealand in Islamabad at the earliest in order to further boost bilateral ties.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif expressed deep appreciation for New Zealand’s principled position on inclusion of new members in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). The Prime Minister highlighted Pakistan’s strong credentials in non-proliferation as well as nuclear safety and security which make it an ideal candidate to be considered for NSG membership.

Both the leaders also discussed possibilities of supporting each other’s candidatures at multilateral forums.