King Salman, PM Nawaz express satisfaction at the outcome of their talks: Two countries agree to further expand defense, security and intelligence cooperation

ISLAMABAD/Riyadh, Apr 24 (INP): King Salman Bin Abdulaziz and Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif have expressed satisfaction at the discussions held during the meeting and reiterated their commitment to further enhance bilateral relations. At the talks the two countries also agreed to further expand the existing defense, security and intelligence cooperation.

A statement issued by the Foreign office in Islamabad on Friday morning said that
King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud received Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, on 23rd April, 2015. The King was accompanied by Crown Prince Prince Muqrin Bin Abdul Aziz, Deputy Crown Prince and Minister for Interior Prince Mohammad Bin Naif, Foreign Minister Prince Saud-al-Faisal, Defence Minister Prince Mohammad Bin Salman and other senior members of the Government of Saudi Arabia. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was accompanied by Defense Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Shareef, SAPM on Foreign Affairs Mr. Tariq Fatemi, Foreign Secretary and other senior civil and military officials.

The Prime Minister held a detailed meeting with King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud which was followed by meeting with the Crown Prince Prince Muqrin Bin Abdul Aziz. The Deputy Crown Prince and Minister for Interior Prince Mohammad Bin Naif and Defence Minister Prince Mohammad Bin Salman called on the Prime Minister.

Separately Defense Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif and Chief of Army Staff, General Raheel Sharif also held an extensive meeting with the Saudi Defense Minister and senior officials of the Defense Ministry. Later a meeting was also held between the Prime Minister and the President of Yemen, Mr. Mansoor-al-Hadi.

During these meetings, Pakistan expressed to the Saudi leadership its deep concern at the increasing threats to regional peace and stability in the Middle East and emphasized that there was a dire need to ensure that the region did not get further destabilized by terrorist groups and other non-state actors.

It was underscored that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was a policy imperative for Pakistan. Pakistan could not remain a bystander against efforts to destabilize the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reiterated that any aggression against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s territorial integrity will evoke a strong response from Pakistan.

Pakistan condemned the violent overthrow of the legitimate Government of Yemen by Houthis and was deeply perturbed on external support of this process. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia agreed that this alarming and unacceptable trend will destabilize Middle East and encourage militants everywhere to challenge the State authority with violence. It is, therefore, not only the responsibility of the Coalition led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to defeat the trend but that of the entire international community.

Pakistan extended its support to the political objectives of the Coalition led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to restore unconditionally the legitimate Government in Yemen and withdrawal of Houthis from the territories seized by them including the capital Sana’a. Pakistan also offered to cooperate in delivering humanitarian assistance to the people of Yemen.

Pakistan expressed its willingness to play a positive role in promoting a peaceful resolution of the ongoing political crisis in Yemen and render its support for implementation of UN Resolution 2216.

Besides people to people, economic and political relationship, Pakistan and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have a robust and multifaceted defense relationship in line with the aspirations of both the peoples. Both sides reiterated their condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and reaffirmed their desire to strengthen cooperation on this issue.

The Saudi side acknowledged tremendous sacrifices made by Pakistan while combating terrorism and appreciated Pakistan’s contribution in making the region in particular and world at large a safer and a better place.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed deep gratitude for the warm reception and generous hospitality extended to him and members of his delegation.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reiterated his invitation to His Majesty to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience.