Saudi FM arrives in Islamabad for Pakistan government talks
Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan on Tuesday stressed the kingdom's strong relationship with Pakistan, where he is on an official two-day visit, as the two sides seek to improve bilateral ties following recent tensions.
During a joint press conference in the capital Islamabad with his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, bin Farhan said both countries were continuing to develop their relations, as they discussed cooperation in different fields including the environment.
"The meeting touched on the importance of expanding and intensifying prospects for bilateral cooperation and coordination in various fields, and discussed… issues of concern to the two brotherly nations on the regional and international arenas," read a Saudi foreign ministry statement.
The ministers also discussed plans to establish a Saudi-Pakistani Coordination Council and "the necessity of concerted efforts of the Islamic world to confront extremism and violence, renounce sectarianism and terrorism, and confront all its forms and manifestations, whatever their source".
Qureshi praised Saudi Arabia for its "unlimited support for Pakistan", stressing that Islamabad aimed to improve economic ties with Riyadh.
The two touched on recent developments in Afghanistan which neighbours Pakistan to the west. Taliban insurgents have carried out a sweeping offensive there as foreign forces pull out.
Farhan is expected to meet Pakistan's prime minister and head of the Pakistani armed forces.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have deep diplomatic and military ties, although these have been strained in recent years. Pakistan reportedly refused a request by Saudi Arabia to contribute troops to the Yemen war. Islamabad was in turn frustrated with Riyadh's refusal to back it during the most recent Kashmir crisis with India.