Pakistan And Saudi Arabia Decide To Strengthen Economic Ties

On Tuesday, the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, stated that the country and Saudi Arabia together have decided to create the Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Consultative Council to enhance the economic linkages that the two share, through bilateral relations. 

This announcement by SM Qureshi came while a joint press conference was in progress, where he addressed the attendees along with Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al Saud, the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia. He arrived in Pakistan in the early hours of Tuesday for a day-long visit. 

The Foreign Minister went on to add that the two countries have made progress regarding the structure of the improvement of the economic linkages. He said that the Saudi Foreign Minister agreed with his plan of what the organization should look like, as well as the work plan. According to him, both countries will be assigning focal persons to oversee all the progress that will be made on this front. 

Qureshi went on to point out that new areas, such as media, culture, entertainment, and information, were also talked about in the bilateral talks. He revealed that the vision for 2023, as agreed by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, revolves around transformation. He added that this one area has not yet been tapped into and therefore, the two parties can greatly contribute to it. 

In Qureshi’s opinion, the two million citizens of Pakistan who reside in Saudi Arabia would also appreciate being allowed to stream Pakistani films in their country, as well as watch performances of their favorite singers. According to the Foreign Minister, this is one area where the two countries could progress their cultural linkages, along with the religious connection that the two share. 

He went on to recall how the two countries have always shown support to each other in times of difficulty. He expressed hope that the Kingdom would go over, and consequently revise, the visa restrictions that it had places on Pakistanis. 

The Foreign Minister of Pakistan further informed that he had had a discussion with his Saudi counterpart regarding climate change. The two had discussed how they could fight the issue collectively and ensured each other international cooperation. 

Qureshi also made a point in thanking the Saudi government for the support they had provided on FATF. He added that the Kingdom was also a part of the Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir, namely, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). He said that the country has shown support, as well as clarity when it came to picking sides on the disputed territory. 

The Foreign Minister went on to talk about the situation in Afghanistan, informing that he had had a discussion with the Saudi Foreign Minister regarding it. The two discussed the challenges arising in the country and what they could expect, as well as the opportunities lying ahead of them. He concluded that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan share the same objectives and approach.