Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman arrives in Pakistan

Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman arrives in Pakistan

Islamabad (Staff Report/Agencies): Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Sunday evening arrived in Islamabad on his first-ever visit to Pakistan on the invitation of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The crown prince was received by PM Khan, Army chief General Qamar Bajwa and members of federal cabinet at Noor Khan Air Base in Rawalpindi.

F-16 and JF-17 Thunder jets of Pakistan Airforce took the plane of visiting dignitary into protective custody. Crown Prince was accorded a red carpet welcome and presented a guard of honour.

According to diplomatic sources, more than 1,000 security checkpoints have been established and heavy vehicles have been banned from plying on important roads in Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

The sources added that some 123 Saudi Arabian Royal Guards will be on duty for the security of Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) during his visit to Islamabad.

The Crown Prince will be accompanied by a high-powered delegation including members of the Saudi Royal family, key ministers and leading businessmen. This will be the first state-level visit of the dignitary to Pakistan since his elevation to the position of the Crown Prince in April 2017.

During his visit, the Crown Prince will call on the President Dr Arif Alvi. He will also meet the Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

A delegation of Pakistan's Senate will also call on the Crown Prince to discuss ways to enhance parliamentary cooperation between the two countries.

The Saudi ministers accompanying the Crown Prince will meet their counterparts to discuss bilateral cooperation in their respective fields. The businessmen of the two countries will also meet to discuss opportunities of collaboration in private sector.

During his stay, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia will be signing a number of agreements and MoUs in diverse sectors, including investment, finance, power, renewable energy, internal security, media, culture and sports.

The visit of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is expected to significantly enhance bilateral ties between the two countries in all spheres of cooperation.

Meanwhile, the Council of Ministers of Saudi Arabia has decided to strengthen relations with Pakistan and other Asian countries.

The Cabinet authorized the ministers of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources or their deputies to sign memoranda of understanding with the Pakistani side in the fields of developing renewable energy projects, investment in the petrochemical and recycling, and mineral resources sectors.

Earlier the day, Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir arrived in Islamabad.

He was warmly received by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki and Pakistan's Ambassador in Saudi Arabia Raja Ali Ejaz were also present among other officials.