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S Arabia to help resolve Pak energy crisis

Saudi Arabia will extend its full cooperation and assistance to resolve the energy crisis in Pakistan and the Saudi minister concerned will soon visit Islamabad in this regard.

The assurance was extended by King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz on Monday during his meeting with Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, who called on him at his picturesque private palace situated on the coast of the Red Sea. The prime minister said, “Security of the two countries is synonymous and they will keep on enhancing their cooperation in all fields. The roadmap for furthering strategic relations of the two countries will be completed on faster pace.”

The meeting lasted more than half an hour later than the scheduled time. Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz was also present at the meeting. On the invitation of Prime Minister Ashraf, he assured that he would visit Pakistan soon.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal, Chief of Saudi Intelligence Prince Mukran, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Prince Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah and Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Abdul Aziz bin Ibrahim Saleh Al-Ghadeer were also present on the occasion. Prime Minister Pervaiz Ashraf Raja was assisted by Federal

Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khurshid Shah, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the Kingdom Muhammad Naeem Khan and Additional Foreign Secretary Masroor Junejo.

The two leaders extensively discussed bilateral relations, the situation in the region and international issues in a cordial atmosphere. Raja was accorded a warm welcome at the palace on his arrival. Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Abdul Aziz Al-Ghadeer termed the meeting ‘excellent’.

Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf briefed King Abdullah about measures being taken by Pakistan for peace, progress and stability in the region and especially Pakistan’s role in finding peaceful settlement of Afghan issue in accordance with the aspirations of the Afghan people. He told King Abdullah that Pakistani people considered him theleader and elder of the Muslim Ummah.

The prime minister extended greetings to King Abdullah on behalf of President Asif Ali Zardari. The Saudi King welcomed the prime minister as a representative of the people of Pakistan. The PM told the king that he sought his guidance to overcome the difficulties being faced by the people of Pakistan. Prime Minister Ashraf told King Abdullah that the people of Pakistan highly revered and held him in high esteem.

The prime minister shared sorrow and grief over the demise of former Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz. He told King Abdullah that the people of Pakistan offered namaz-e-janaza for the departed soul of late crown prince which indicated strong affiliation of the people of Pakistan with Saudi Arabia.

On an inquiry about Pak-India relations, the prime minister told the king that Pak-India relations were improving as the dialogue process between the two countries was going on. Appreciating the improvement in Pak-India relations and expressing satisfaction over the developments in this regard, King Abdullah said that the improved Pak-India ties would be beneficial for the people of two countries.

The prime minister apprised the King of the efforts of Pakistani government to improve relations with its neighbours. The Afghan situation came under discussion during the meeting. The prime minister informed the King that he would visit Afghanistan soon and meet Afghan President Hamid Karzai to further improve relations. He said that his visit would bolster efforts to bring peace, stability and security in the region.

The prime minister thanked King Abdullah and the Saudi government for extending help to Pakistan in the need of hour especially during the last year flood and earthquake.The King said, “We are not taking any credit for this help and assistance, it was our duty to help brothers and sisters in Pakistan in case of any natural calamity.”

During the meeting, the prime minister especially mentioned the roadmap for developing enhanced strategic dialogue between the two countries. The prime minister also apprised the King of the progress in war against terror and situation in Fata.

The prime minister while discussing the question of food security in Pakistan asked the Saudi businessmen to invest in Pakistan’s agriculture sector. The two countries have agreed to enhance their cooperation in the field of food security.

APP adds: Earlier, while addressing the Pakistani community in Saudi Arabia at a reception given in his honour, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Asrhaf said that the PPP believed in coming into power through the democratic process and the appointment of a consensus Chief Election Commission (CEC) was a great contribution of the party.

He said that the people were the ultimate arbitrators and had the right to choose their leaders in a democratic way. The prime minister said with the support of its allies, the PPP government had presented five budgets and now it was entering the election process. He urged the expatriates and other Pakistanis living in different countries to bring investment to Pakistan for different projects of power generation especially in solar energy to overcome the energy crisis in the country. He assured that the present government will provide maximum protection to foreign investment in all the fields especially in the energy sector.

The Prime Minister appreciating the contribution of the expatriates through their remittances and hoped that they would also come forward to help the country in resolving the energy crisis.

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