Saudi crown prince to visit Islamabad this week

Remigio Civitarese
Febbraio 14, 2019

All the arrangements have been finalised for the first-ever visit of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, who is scheduled to touch down in Islamabad on Feb 16, ARY News reported.

Speaking at the presser, Dawood said that $7 billion investment would be made in Pakistan from Saudi Arabia over the next two years.

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At a news conference Wednesday evening, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said he hoped Saudi Arabia will make "a huge and extraordinary investment in Pakistan as a result of this visit".

He said a Pak-Saudi Coordination Council would be set up following the visit where Prime Minister Imran Khan would personally lead monitoring of the implementation of MoUs.

On the Saudi interest to explore Pakistan's oil refinery sector, he said the feasibility study by their experts on petrochemical complex and hydro cracking could take up to 12 to15 months.

The Saudi prince, often referred to as MBS, will be accompanied by a high-powered delegation, including members of the royal family, key ministers and leading businessmen.

Continuing, he said that Commander of the Islamic Coalition General Raheel Sharif during a meeting with him [Qureshi] the other day had made it clear that the force was not specific to any country or group.

Qureshi said that he would leave for Germany on Thursday.

In October, Riyadh said it would lend Pakistan $3 billion in cash and allow Islamabad to defer payments for oil imports worth $3 billion for a one-year period to support the country's ailing economy. So, the Saudi cabinet has authorized the above-discussed ministers to sign a MoU between KSA and Pakistan.

He said this was for the first time after former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto that Pakistan had attained vast success at diplomatic front.

Other planned stops on his Southeast Asian tour are said to include China and Indonesia, with India and Pakistan also expected.

While the current United States president, Donald Trump, said Riyadh's explanation was "credible", many others from the global community condemned the killing with Germany, Norway and Denmark all ceasing the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia.

Pakistan has close ties to neighboring Iran, Saudi Arabia's main regional rival, and maintains a balancing act between the two.

The prince visit comes shortly after Pakistan rolled out a similar red carpet for Abu Dhabi Crown Prince.

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