JEDDAH    -   Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defence, held wide-ranging talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah on Thursday, reported Saudi Gazette.

The two sides discussed bilateral relations and matters of mutual interest, a statement issued here by the office of the prime minister said.

It also said that the prime minister briefed Crown Prince Mohammed about the situation in Kashmir after New Delhi revoked the limited constitutional autonomy of the occupied part of the disputed Himalayan region on August 5.

At the outset of the meeting, Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly denounced the recent missile and drone strikes on Saudi Aramco oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais, according to Saudi Gazette. He expressed Pakistan’s full support for the Kingdom and its efforts to combat these acts of sabotage.

For his part, the Crown Prince stressed that these acts are aimed to undermine the security and stability of the region, affirming the importance of countering such disruptive acts.

The meeting was also attended by Prince Turki Bin Mohammed Bin Fahd, minister of the state and member of the Cabinet; Prince Abdullah Bin Bandar, minister of the National Guard; Ibrahim Al-Assaf, minister of foreign affairs; Khalid Al-Humaidan, chief of General Intelligence; and Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf Al-Malki.

The Pakistani delegation included Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mehmood, Advisor on Finance Hafeez Sheikh, prime minister’s special aide for overseas Pakistanis Zulfiqar Bukhari, and other officials. Pakistan’s Ambassador in Saudi Arabia Raja Ali Ejaz also attended the meeting.

Earlier in the day, the prime minister arrived in Saudi Arabia on a two-day official visit, before his trip to New York to attend the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Makkah Governor Prince Khalid bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz, along with Emir of Makkah and advisor to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ibrahim Al-Assaf, received the prime minister at King Abdulaziz International Airport.

Pakistan’s envoy to Saudi Arabia Raja Ali Ejaz, Consular General Khalid Majeed, and other senior Saudi and Pakistani consulate officials were also there at the airport to receive Imran Khan and his delegation.

The foreign office said late Wednesday that Khan during his meeting with the Saudi leadership would discuss the “various dimensions of the grave situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, arising from India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019”.

“The prime minister has been in regular contact on the Kashmir issue with His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman,” the foreign office statement read.

It further highlighted the “growing momentum in Pakistan-Saudi Arabia relations in all areas of cooperation” since the visit to Islamabad by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in February 2019.

“During the Prime Minister’s visit, the two sides will discuss ways of further strengthening the economic partnership between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia,” the official handout stated.

“Pakistan-Saudi relations are traditionally marked by warmth and mutual trust. The Prime Minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia will further reinforce the close fraternal ties between the two countries and deepen bilateral cooperation in diverse fields,” the Foreign Office said.

were also there at the airport to receive Imran Khan and his delegation.

The foreign office said late Wednesday that Khan during his meeting with the Saudi leadership would discuss the “various dimensions of the grave situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, arising from India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019”.

“The prime minister has been in regular contact on the Kashmir issue with His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman,” the foreign office statement read.

It further highlighted the “growing momentum in Pakistan-Saudi Arabia relations in all areas of cooperation” since the visit to Islamabad by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in February 2019. “During the Prime Minister’s visit, the two sides will discuss ways of further strengthening the economic partnership between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia,” the official handout stated. “Pakistan-Saudi relations are traditionally marked by warmth and mutual trust. The Prime Minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia will further reinforce the close fraternal ties between the two countries and deepen bilateral cooperation in diverse fields,” the Foreign Office said.

Kashmir to be raised forcefully at UNGA: PM

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir were passing through a critical situation and he would raise the issue forcefully at the upcoming United Nations General Assembly session in New York.

Talking to Pakistani community of different walks of life in Saudi Arabia, the prime minister said Kashmir had become an international issue and the whole world had accepted Pakistan’s narrative, a statement issued by the PM Office in Islamabad said.

The PM said the purpose of his visit was to apprise the Saudi leadership about the situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

The prime minister said Father of the Nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhamamd Ali Jinnah had perceived that the Muslims in India would not get their rights and that was why he opted for an independent country for the Muslims of Subcontinent.

He said that now the Modi government’s fascist policy against the Muslims and all other minorities living in India had proved it correct. He said the Kashmir had become a global issue and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) had also supported Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir dispute.

Khan said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia had very old and friendly relations and now these relationships had entered into a new level, adding that Saudi Arabia had always stand with Pakistan in difficult time.

The prime minister informed the overseas Pakistani community that the government inherited a debt-ridden economy and now despite a number of difficulties efforts were being made to reform every sector and enhancing investment in the country.

The prime minister said legal reforms were being brought to protect investment of the oversees Pakistanis. He said government was also ensuring ease of doing business to attract investors.