Saudi crown prince to visit Pakistan on February 16

14 Février, 2019, 13:01 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Pakistan: Saudi crown prince to visit Islamabad this week

The Saudi crown prince's two-day visit of Pakistan will further promote mutual cooperation between the two countries, Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal said.

The unprecedented Saudi investment is being viewed by Prime Minister Imran Khan's nascent government as a major boost for cash-strapped Pakistan, which is facing an economic crisis and balance of payments pressure.

He said this was for the first time after former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto that Pakistan had attained huge success at diplomatic front.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are likely to sign over $10 billion investment agreements, including a multibillion dollar oil refinery in Gwadar, during his visit.

Two five-star hotels have been fully booked by the Saudi delegation while the Kingdom's elite royal guards arrived in Pakistan earlier this week to assist with security arrangements, according to a municipal official in Islamabad.

Moreover, around 80 containers from Saudi Arabia will reach Pakistan too.

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He said Pakistan was in high need of refined oil products, for which Saudi Arabia had shown willingness to meet the needs of local oil market with investment of $2 billion for two years in addition to investment in Pakistan's mining sector. The money has already been deposited to the State Bank of Pakistan.

Qureshi said when they took over the reins of the country, Pak-Saudi relations were strained.

Khan was among a few global leaders who participated in an investment conference Saudi Arabia hosted in October.

MBS, as he is popularly known, weathered widespread condemnation in October of a year ago, after being accused of having something to do with the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a one-time ally, and later foe, often using his platform as a columnist at the Washington Post to speak critically of the current Saudi regime. Many foreign participants boycotted the conference to protest Khashoggi's killing.

When asked if the Saudi investment could be part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said that Pakistan and China had agreed on setting up three special economic zones, which could be joined by other countries, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Sharif noted that the UAE has also almost finalized plans to establish an oil refinery in Pakistan with an anticipated production capacity of about 300,000 barrels.

The projects aim to improve the quality of life across several sectors including the fields of education, health, investment, and sports.


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