ISLAMABAD - Pakistan and Saudi Arabia yesterday agreed that their historic ties were unbreakable and time tested.

At a meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud here, FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have “deep brotherly relations and the two countries are committed to further expand their relations in diverse fields.”

The two allies vowed to move forward together and strengthen the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. “Both the foreign ministers agreed to continue their bilateral consultations on important regional matters, including Kashmir issue,” said an official statement.

It added: “They discussed bilateral relations, matters of mutual interest and regional situation. The Foreign Minister thanked the Saudi Foreign Minister and the Saudi leadership for backing Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir issue.”

The foreign ministry statement said: “During the detailed deliberations, the entire gamut of bilateral relations was covered and views were exchanged on regional developments.”

Saudi FM holds talks with PM Imran, FM Qureshi

It said Foreign Minister Qureshi dilated in detail on the situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir in the aftermath of India’s unilateral and illegal actions of 5 August 2019.

It also highlighted the Indian Government’s actions with regard to CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act 2019) and NRC (National Register of Citizens) and the systematic targeting of minorities in India, particularly Muslims.

“The Foreign Minister thanked the Kingdom’s support in OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir,” it said.

Prince Faisal underscored the importance that Saudi Arabia attached to its fraternal and strategic relationship with Pakistan.

He conveyed the Saudi leadership’s deep appreciation for the role played by Pakistan in maintaining regional peace and stability.

The Saudi FM said that Saudi Arabia was committed to a strong, prosperous and successful Pakistan and reaffirmed the commitment of Saudi leadership in cementing ties with Pakistan in all fields.

“The two Foreign Ministers discussed OIC’s role in the advancement of the cause of Kashmir,” the statement added.

Foreign Minister Qureshi recalled his earlier visit to the Kingdom on December 10-11.  He focused on issues of mutual interest including bilateral trade and economic cooperation, security and defence cooperation, parliamentary exchanges and increased trade relations.

“The Foreign Minister also highlighted the importance of Saudi investments, particularly in the petrochemical, mining and minerals and energy sectors. He also expressed the hope that the Road-to-Makkah project to facilitate Hajis (pilgrims) from Pakistan will be extended to other cities of Pakistan,” the statement said.

The two Foreign Ministers had earlier met in Riyadh. The visit of the Saudi Foreign Minister to Pakistan is a reflection of the growing bilateral relations and part of regular exchange of high-level visits between the two fraternal countries.

Prince Faisal also called on Prime Minister Imran Khan. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was also present in the meeting. The two sides discussed issues of bilateral interest.

This month, Pakistan had completely boycotted the Kuala Lumpur Summit after much confusion and reports that it could unofficially replace the OIC and create another bloc to represent the Muslims. Pakistan said it did not participate in the Kuala Lumpur Summit as some major Muslim-majority countries had concerns.

The major Arab Muslim-majority states - Saudi Arabia , the United Arab Emirates and Egypt – were not made part of this group. The participation of states considered hostile to Saudi Arabia , like Qatar and Iran, has dramatically given birth to Saudi reservations about the agenda of the summit.