KSA keen to help reduce Pak, India tensions: Faisal

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Imran’s visit ‘extremely important’ in history of bilateral relations


Observer Report
Islamabad

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said on Sunday that Saudi Arabia will work to encourage reduction in tension between Pakistan and India, while also terming Pakistan’s role critical in the Afghan peace process.

“On [the] relationship with India, I really want to commend [on] what has been achieved recently of a calming of tensions and a ceasefire. This is an excellent step in the right direction,” Prince Faisal said.

His remarks came during an interview telecast live on Radio Pakistan. The minister said, “We will work to encourage the process and make sure that the tensions continue to be reduced between both [the] nations.”

“We have growing good relations with India and I hope [that with the approach] we can help everybody work towards the reduction of tension,” the Saudi foreign minister added.

From our perspective, he added, the focus on building prosperity for the people of one’s nation should be the key emphasis of all policies.

The minister said, “I think Pakistan has that priority..what we have from [Prime Minister] Imran Khan is there’s a very keen focus that the region is secure because that will deliver the stability that is needed to grow the country’s economy.”

This, he maintained, is precisely what should be done, adding that, “We will of course ensure any support we can to make that happen.”

Prince Faisal further said that, “Afghanistan is critically important not just for the security of Pakistan and its neighbourhood, but also to our security and global security.”

Pakistan, he added, has a “very very important role to play in helping secure the future of Afghanistan.”

“We will, of course, work closely with our colleagues and with the international community to make sure that we are able to help Afghanistan find its footing for stability and prosperity.”

To a question on bilateral trade, the foreign minister stated that, “The real focus of discussion between the leaders of the two sides is the economic relationship.”

“[The] focus is on building a much stronger investment climate between the two nations, to facilitate bilateral investment in KSA and Pakistan.”

On facilitating the Pakistani workforce in KSA, he said, “We have recently introduced some significant labour reforms. This is a contribution for the Pakistanis employed in the kingdom to find prosperity.”

“We have an ambitious plan [2030], which means there will be significant opportunities for additional employment for Pakistani nationals,” he added.

He said the Saudi government’s focus “on the mandate that we have from both the leaders” was to facilitate a business-to-business relationship on investment, labour flow and beyond.

Referring to Pakistan’s billion tree tsunami campaign, he said, “Pakistan has a leading role in the climate change agenda and it has made an impressive progress in this regard.”

“We can work together to align initiatives between the [two] countries and to work with each other and benefit from each other’s experiences.”

He added that the global climate change phenomena was a chance for us all to work together and bind together.

“The relationship that we have means that we can partner on such issues that have a global impact,” Prince Faisal observed.

The foreign minister added that, “We have a very similar worldview, whether it is regional security or focus on global prosperity… and we have agreed to increase engagement at the working level to make sure that we’re aligning in all areas.”

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