Abbasi’s Jeddah visit

PRIME Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi paid an un-announced and short visit to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday during which he held talks with Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman at Jeddah on bilateral and regional issues. The Prime Minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s continued and steadfast support for the Kingdom and its leadership and the Crown Prince reciprocated his sentiments.
There was no clear official word on the purpose of the visit, which was apparently planned on short notice and so much so that the PM Office or the Foreign Office did not confirm his departure till Prime Minister’s physical arrival in Jeddah. However, it is quite obvious that the visit had much to do with the latest regional developments especially new US strategy, which has serious implications for Pakistan. Islamabad and Riyadh have closely been working on all important issues and in every situation and it was but natural that the two countries should hold consultations on how to handle the situation arising out of new policy of the Trump administration. It is a matter of satisfaction that be it an issue relating to security or defence of Pakistan or political and diplomatic support on issues like Kashmir, Saudi Arabia always stood firmly with Pakistan. It also provided much needed economic and financial support to Islamabad at times of crises and that too at a time when others were not forthcoming. It is also important to note that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chose Saudi Arabia as first country for his visit abroad after taking oath of the office, which signifies the depth of relations and importance that leadership of the two countries attaches to the bilateral relations. Similarly, China is another country that always stood firmly with Pakistan through thick and thin and incidentally Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua was in China when the American President announced his new policy and Beijing lost no in expressing solidarity with Pakistan and praising its unparalleled role and contribution in the war against terror. It is, therefore, advisable for Pakistani decision makers to hold consultations with the leadership of Saudi Arabia, China and Turkey on a regular basis.

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