Governor of Tabuk, Pak Army Chief Discuss Regional Security

PKONWEB Report (ISLAMABAD) — Governor of Tabuk of Saudi Arabia Prince Fahad bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Monday.

During the meeting, the two discussed matters of mutual interests including the regional security situation.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have a defense and security pact aimed at safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom.

There has been several high profile visits of officials and delegations during the last few months as the two friendly countries seek to take their bilateral relationship several notches up. The new government in Islamabad is focusing on economic diplomacy and a foreign policy close to the home as its arrowhead.

The Kingdom is providing $6.2 billion financial package to Pakistan for bolstering its fiscal position.

It has also agreed to invest $10 billion in an oil refinery in Gwadar which is being developed with the help of China.

“Saudi Arabia wants to make Pakistan’s economic development stable through establishing an oil refinery and partnership with Pakistan in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor,” Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told reporters in Gwadar on January 12.

Falih made the comments as he visited the site for the proposed oil refinery, along with Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Pakistan’s minister for petroleum and natural resources.

Falih said Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman would visit Pakistan in February to sign the agreement.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have also agreed to negotiate a free trade agreement (FTA) for trade liberalization and increasing the volume between the two countries.

Riyadh offered Islamabad to negotiate the FTA directly or sign a preferential trade agreement (PTA) first for providing mutual trade opportunity in each other’s markets.

Saudi Arabia will also fund scholarships to 583 Pakistani students in 2019, APP reported.

Under the scholarship program, Pakistani students will get admission in 23 leading universities in Saudi Arabia.

“Pakistani students can gain admission at all Saudi universities in any subject of their choice, unlike in the past,” said Saudi Arabia’s cultural attache in Islamabad.

Besides Saudi Arabi, UAE and China have also agreed to assist Pakistan tide over its fiscal crisis and are participative in regional efforts to bring peace in war-torn Afghanistan.

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