Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will be embarking on a three-day trip today to Saudi Arabia on the invitation of King Salman bin Abulaziz al Saud.The PM will be accompanied by a high-level delegation that would include Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi. During the visit he will hold talks with King Salman, perform Umrah and visit Madinah to offer prayers at the Masjid-e-Nabvi.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are tied in close fraternal bonds of shared faith and values, especially as the Two Holy Mosques are there. The kingdom also hosts more than 1.7 million Pakistanis whose remittances contribute substantially to the economy of Pakistan. The annual trade volume between the two countries exceeds $4.5 billion.
The official visit of the PM will provide an opportunity to the leadership of the two countries to discuss issues of mutual interest and concern in the global and regional context and further strengthen bilateral relations.
Meanwhile, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Rashad Mahmood called on Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif here this morning. Professional matters related to the armed forces of Pakistan and overall national security situation came under discussion during the meeting.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 4th, 2015.