Kahn will visit Riyadh on May 7 at the invitation of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Baziwa was received by Pakistan’s recently appointed Lieutenant General of Saudi Arabia (retd) Bilal Akbar and Saudi military officials, officials said.
He is expected to meet Saudi Arabia’s best civilians and military leaders in what appears to be part of the preparation for Prime Minister Khan’s scheduled visit to Riad.
A visit to Bajuwa and Khan’s next trip are seen as important, as these developments suggest a melting of relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have enjoyed a long-standing strategic relationship and have faced certain obstacles in recent years. The first blow occurred in 2015 when Pakistan refused to send troops to participate in Saudi-led military operations in Yemen. Relations returned to some extent after Islamabad joined the Islamic Military Countermeasures against Saudi-led terrorism.
However, in 2019, when Pakistan promised to support Malaysia’s initiative to build a rival block for Islamic countries and held a summit, the historic ties between the two countries suffered a serious setback.
Pakistan withdrew from the summit after Saudi Arabia warned of serious consequences, but the relationship between the two countries was so tense that Islamabad had to repay a US $ 3 billion loan to Riyadh.
They rarely demanded repayment of a loan because Saudi Arabia had previously rolled over the loan or converted it to a grant.
After that, busy efforts were made to normalize the frayed relationship behind the scenes, and in March the high-level contact and telephone conversation between Prime Minister Khan and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman was revived. This was the first contact between two leaders in 15 months.
Changes in leadership in Washington are also believed to have had a profound impact on Binsalman as US President Joe Biden withdrew his support for the Yemeni war and decided not to ignore Saudi Arabia’s human rights issues.
The Biden administration’s intention to revive Iran’s nuclear deal also urged Saudi Arabia to reconsider its strategy.
Pakistan, on the other hand, struggles to stabilize its economy and needs cheap Saudi oil and investment. After Khan came to power, Binsalman visited Pakistan and promised to invest more than US $ 20 billion in various projects.
Officials said Kahn would seek to promote Saudi Arabia’s investment in the oil refinery that Binsalman promised to build.
Prior to Prime Minister Khan’s visit, Saudi Arabia’s Chief of Staff of the Pakistan Army, Bajuwa
Source link Prior to Prime Minister Khan’s visit, Saudi Arabia’s Chief of Staff of the Pakistan Army, Bajuwa