Pakistan values its strong economic, defence ties with Saudi Arabia: Air chief

ISLAMABAD  -  A high level delegation, led by General Fayyadh bin Hamed Al-Ruwaili, Chief of General Staff Saudi Armed Forces, called on Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force at Air Headquarters here Thursday. 

According to a press release issued by the PAF, the meeting underscored, discussion on sev­eral key areas of mutual interest, defence cooperation and geo-strategic situation. 

On his arrival, a smartly turned-out contingent of Paki­stan Air Force presented Gen­eral Fayyadh bin Hamed Al-Ruwaili the guard of honour. Later, the visiting dignitary was introduced to the Princi­pal Staff Officers. 

During the meeting, Chief of the Air Staff shared his prag­matic policy decisions aimed at modernizing PAF through smart acquisition of niche technologies with special fo­cus on artificial intelligence, cyber, space, electronic war­fare in addition to upgradation of infrastructure and revital­ization of operational & train­ing domains. The Air Chief highlighted that Saudi Arabia being the center of the Muslim world and a significant strate­gic partner has longstanding religious, cultural and histori­cal bond with Pakistan which is exemplified through robust bilateral relations. He also re­iterated his unwavering com­mitment to enhancing the existing ties in realms of mil­itary-to-military cooperation, joint exercises and collabora­tive training. 

Highlighting the bond of broth­erhood between the two nations, the Air Chief said, “Pakistan val­ues its strong diplomatic, eco­nomic and defence relationship with Saudi Arabia which is based on convergence on all important issues relating to regional peace, security and stability.”

The Chief of General Staff Saudi Armed Forces expressed his ad­miration for the exceptional prog­ress made by Pakistan Air Force, particularly in the area of indi­genization and lauded the pro­fessionalism of PAF personnel. He also pledged to play his role in further improving the existing bilateral ties at all levels and ex­pressed his desire to consolidate cooperation in various fields in­cluding training, emerging tech­nologies and mutual cooperation in the aviation industry.

The Saudi delegation also vis­ited different installations and technological infrastructure including PAF’s National ISR & Integrated Air Operations Cen­tre (NIIAOC) and PAF’s Cyber Command along with National Aerospace Science and Tech­nology Park (NASTP), where they were briefed about the operational capabilities and ongoing projects of PAF’s mod­ernization drive. 

Chief of the Air Staff briefed the visiting dignitary about his vision of PAF’s National Aero­space Science & Technology Park project and highlighted that the mega project was aimed at fostering collaborative research, development and in­novation in the domains of avia­tion, space, IT, cyber & comput­ing to ensure social, economic, technological and scientific ben­efits both for Pakistan and our valuable partners.

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