Pakistan requests Saudi Arabia to ease flight, visa restrictions


FM Qureshi thanked the Kingdom for its steadfast support for the Kashmir cause

ISLAMABAD – Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday asked Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan for his personal patronage in easing restrictions related to flights and visas for Pakistanis, stranded in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The foreign minister stated this following a meeting with Prince Faisal, who is in Pakistan on official visit to discuss bilateral ties.

Highlighting the hardships being faced by Pakistani nationals due to current Covid-related travel restrictions, Qureshi expressed the hope that in view of improved situation on the ground in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia would take steps to facilitate their travel to the Kingdom, said Foreign Office in a statement.

It is to mention here that a number of overseas workers are unable to return to the Kingdom due to the restrictions imposed by the Arab country.

In the meeting, Qureshi underlined that the relationship between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia had strong and robust foundations and was poised to acquire a new level. He reaffirmed Pakistan’s support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The foreign minister paid rich tribute to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman for achieving new heights of progress and development of the Kingdom under their visionary leadership.

Both sides had wide-ranging talks covering bilateral relations as well as regional and global issues of common interest. Recalling the successful visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Saudi Arabia in May 2021, the two Foreign Ministers reviewed implementation status of the decisions taken during the visit.

The two sides agreed to continue working closely to further strengthen bilateral relations in all spheres, with a particular focus on trade, investments, energy, the environment, and culture.

They also expressed satisfaction on the ongoing work related to the Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordination Council (SPSCC), which is a highest level platform designed to impart strategic direction to the development of Pakistan-Saudi relations. The two sides agreed that the SPSCC will play a catalytic role in fostering enhanced bilateral cooperation in all fields.

FM Qureshi offered Pakistan’s full support in realization of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, including thorough sharing of experience and provision of requisite professional and technical manpower.

He highlighted Pakistan’s shifting focus from geo-politics to geo-economics – with emphasis on three central pillars of peace, development partnerships, and connectivity.

Qureshi also highlighted the transformational CPEC project and noted the vast opportunities for investments in the SEZs.

He highlighted the human rights situation in IIOJK and underlined Pakistan’s principled position on the peaceful resolution of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute in line with the UNSC resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people. The Foreign Minister thanked the Kingdom for its steadfast support for the Kashmir cause.

Foreign Minister Qureshi also apprised the Saudi Foreign Minister about Pakistan’s perspective for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan. Emphasizing that there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister underlined Pakistan’s sincere and serious efforts for an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement in Afghanistan. Foreign Minister stated that durable peace and stability in Afghanistan will open new avenues for regional connectivity and economic cooperation.

Commensurate with the close and cordial relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, the Foreign Ministers of the two countries hold frequent consultations on all subjects of common interest. The visit of the Saudi Foreign Minister to Pakistan imparts further impetus to the positive momentum in bilateral exchanges and deepening mutual cooperation.

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