Saudi Crown Prince arrived in Pakistan to historic welcome

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ISLAMABAD: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman will arrive in Pakistan today for a two-day visit.

The Saudi Crown Price is visiting Pakistan on the invitation of Prime Minister Imran Khan and will be accompanied by a high-level delegation including members of the Saudi Royal family, key ministers and leading businessmen.

During his visit, the Crown Prince will hold meetings with President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa. A delegation of Pakistan’s Senate will also call on him and discuss ways to enhance parliamentary cooperation between the two countries.

Ministers from Saudi Arabia will also hold meetings with their Pakistani counterparts to discuss bilateral cooperation.

During Crown Prince Salman’s stay, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan will sign a number of agreements and MoUs in diverse sectors including including investment, finance, power, renewable energy, internal security, media, culture and sports. 

The two countries will also discuss ways and means to develop a robust follow-up mechanism to ensure effective implementation and quick progress on tangible areas of cooperation.

MoUs and agreements

According to Foreign Office spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal the following MoUs are expected to be signed during Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s visit.

• An executive program for cultural cooperation to encourage cooperation in the field of culture and arts.

• An Executive Program for Media Cooperation to enhance and strengthen bilateral cooperation in the field of information and media.

• MoU on establishment of an integrated complex, petrochemical refinery.

• An agreement in the fields of youth and sports.

• MoU on combatting organised crime.

• An agreement on Technical Cooperation in Standardisation, improving trade and removing Technical Barriers to Trade.

• MoU on Development of Renewable Energy Projects.

• MoU in the field of Mineral Resources.

• MoU on Drug Control, Smuggling and Psychotropic substances.

The Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordination Council (SCC), led by the Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Imran Khan, will also be launched during the visit. According to Pakistan’s Foreign Office, the Council will help the two countries for effective coordination and follow-up to achieve mutually agreed objectives.

Apart from the several memorandums of understanding, several business agreements are also expected to be reached during the visit. These include up to $12bn in Saudi investment in Pakistan in the near future, and $8bn investment for the establishment of an oil refinery.

During the visit by the Crown Prince, Pakistan is also expected to propose a preferential trade agreement with Saudi Arabia.

Arrangements finalised

A fleet of JF-17 Thunder jets will escort Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s planes as they enter Pakistan’s airspace.

PM Imran will receive Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman at the airport. A 21-gun salute and a guard of honour will be presented to the crown prince when he arrives at the Prime Minister House.

On Thursday night, Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a high-level meeting to review arrangements ahead of the Saudi crown prince’s arrival. The meeting was attended by federal ministers, advisers, special assistants, Corps Commander Rawalpindi, DG ISPR and senior government officials. The meeting reviewed in detail the security arrangements as well as the engagements scheduled for the crown prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Chairing the meeting, PM Imran said that a historic welcome will be given to the Saudi crown prince and his delegation. Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including members of the Saudi royal family, key ministers and leading businessmen.

Directing foolproof arrangements for the security and stay of the crown prince and the delegates, the premier was quoted as saying, “I will overlook these arrangements myself.”

Further, the premier said the Saudi crown prince’s visit is “a defining moment for Pakistan”.

The Punjab government has announced the imposition of Section 144 in Rawalpindi during the Crown Prince’s visit. 

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