FO denies reports of rift between Pakistan, Saudi Arabia

Published: 08:07 PM, 20 Aug, 2020
FO denies reports of rift between Pakistan, Saudi Arabia
Caption: Prime Minister Imran Khan (L) with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during his 2019 visit to Islamabad.–File photo
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The Foreign Office on Thursday denied reports of a rift between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, saying that Islamabad and Riyadh enjoyed unique relations deep-rooted in religion, culture and social ties.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan’s remarks and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia attest to the unchanged fraternal relations and close contact between the two countries,” Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said during his weekly press briefing.

Chaudhri added Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have strong economic, political, security and military cooperation at all levels.

Citing the example of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit last year to Islamabad and PM Imran’s visit to Saudi Arabia, he said that they cemented relations between the two countries and provided new opportunities of cooperation in trade, investment and other fields.

The spokesperson added that Pakistan appreciates the Kingdom’s role in the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir. 

Responding to a question about the normalization of relations between UAE and Israel, the spokesperson said there was no change in Pakistan’s position on the Palestine-Israel issue. “Pakistan stands by the commitment realizing the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to self-determination for a just, comprehensive and long-lasting peace,” he noted. He continued, “Pakistan has consistently supported a two-state solution per UNSC and OIC resolutions as well as international law with pre-1967 borders and with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as the capital of Palestine.”

Speaking about recent developments and how Pakistan plans to tackle it, Chaudhri said Pakistan’s approach would be guided by “our evaluation of how Palestinians’ rights and aspirations are upheld and how regional, peace and security and stability are preserved.”