ISLAMABAD  -    Pakistan and Saudi Arabia Monday issued a joint statement on conclusion of the Saudi Crown Prince’s visit to Islamabad.

The two sides reaffirmed the historical relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Prime Minister Imran Khan praised the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, and the efforts of his wise government, specially its services to the millions of pilgrims who visit the two Holy Mosques every year.

The Prime Minister also lauded the leadership of the Crown Prince’s vision for development and investment that would push the Kingdom in a rapid progress and prosperity in view of its Vision 2030.

The Crown Prince praised PM Imran’s agenda of transforming Pakistan into a welfare state, based on Islamic socio-economic principles and assured him of the Kingdom’s continued support.

During the high-level discussions between the two sides, they applauded the growing momentum in their bilateral relations in all areas of cooperation, held wide-ranging discussions in a cordial atmosphere and expressed their satisfaction at strengthening the level of leadership communications between the two countries.

The Pakistani side appreciated the leadership and positive role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in resolving the issues facing the Ummah worldwide. The Saudi side lauded Pakistan’s important positions in the Islamic world and its efforts for regional peace and security. Both sides noted with satisfaction their strong defence and security ties, and agreed to further enhance cooperation in this field to advance shared objectives.

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan reiterated their commitment to continue combating extremism and terrorism and expressed their deep appreciation for the achievements and sacrifices made by the two sides in the war against terrorism. They also applauded the martyrs who sacrificed their lives in order to confront this serious scourge and called on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities to join all international efforts to combat global terrorism. They also underlined the need for avoiding politicisation of UN listing regime.

The two sides expressed the hope for achieving a fair, comprehensive and long-lasting peace in the Middle East in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative and the resolutions of international legitimacy guaranteeing the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian state based on internationally agreed standards 1967 with Jerusalem as its capital.

During the official talks in Islamabad, the Crown Prince praised openness and efforts of Prime Minister Imran Khan dialogue with India and the opening of the Kartarpur crossing point and the efforts exerted by both sides, stressing that dialogue is the only way to ensure peace and stability in the region to resolve outstanding issues.

The two sides agreed on the importance of political settlement and promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan so that millions of Afghan refugees in neighboring countries can return to their country and contribute to their development and lasting peace. The Saudi side appreciated Pakistan’s generous hosting of millions of Afghan refugees and other initiatives by Pakistan in the Afghan context.

With a view to enhancing bilateral relations in various fields, the two brotherly countries decided to establish a Joint Supreme Coordination Council between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, co-chaired by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense from the Saudi side, and by His Excellency the Prime Minister from Pakistani side for enhancing and institutionalizing the bilateral relations in various fields and take them to a higher level , and to hold its meetings in the two countries alternately.

The two sides agreed to make use of all available channels to promote bilateral trade, investment and promote communication between the two peoples and businessmen. The Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade, which is now part of the Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordination Council, shall facilitate bilateral trade in specific sectors and products. The two sides agreed to further strengthen measures to promote trade, participate in exhibitions and events, welcome business meetings from both countries, and encourage the private sector to take the lead in building a strong economic partnership between the two brotherly countries.

Highlighting the growing economic relations, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defence and the Prime Minister of Pakistan witnessed the signing of a number of agreements and memorandums of understanding. The total investment opportunities resulted in over USD 20 billion, which would increase the mutual investment and volume of trade between the two brotherly countries.

The Saudi side expressed its appreciation for the initiatives taken by the Government of Pakistan to facilitate the conduct of business in the country and facilitate FDI in Pakistan. The Prime Minister called on Saudi Arabia to be a partner in economic growth and development in Pakistan.

The Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense also praised the efforts of Prime Minister Imran Khan to develop the economic and social structure in Pakistan. He stressed the potential of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which will contribute to the development and prosperity of the region.

The two countries called to promote dialogue, respect and understanding among followers of different faiths to promote peace and interfaith harmony.

They strongly condemned the atrocities and human rights violations committed against Muslims around the world.

At the end of the visit, the Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense expressed his thanks to the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan for his warm hospitality and brotherly feelings which are not unusual for Pakistan and the Pakistanis.

For his part, the Prime Minister expressed his best wishes to the health and wellness of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, hoping to visit Pakistan in the near future.