Saudi Minister of Defense Visits Pakistan

Agence France Presse (AFP) ISPR Saudi Press Agency (SPA)12.01.2016 KSA
Saudi Minister of Defense Visits Pakistan

Saudi Minister of Defense Visits Pakistan

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Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense arrived Sunday in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan at the invitation of the Pakistani government, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Upon arrival at Jorgan Air Base Airport in Islamabad, he was received by Pakistani Defense Minister Khawaja Asif; Advisor to the Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, and number of officials.

He was also received by Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Abdullah Al-Zahrani.

The official delegation accompanying the Deputy Crown Prince includes Minister of State and Cabinet's Member Dr. Musaed Al-Aiban; Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Adel Altoraifi and a number of officials.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman is the second top Saudi official to visit Pakistan in a week amid growing tension with Iran over Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr’s recent execution.

“Muhammad Bin Abdullah Al-Ayish, Assistant Defense Minister for Military Affairs, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, visited General Headquarters and called on Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif,” the ISPR said in a statement last week.

“Matters related to regional security and bilateral defense collaboration including training exchanges came under discussion,” it said.

The visits came after Saudi Arabia and several of its allies announced the severing or downgrading of diplomatic relations with Shiite powerhouse Iran.

Pakistan, a predominantly Sunni state, also has a large Shiite population.

Pakistani Army Chief General Raheel Sharif has reiterated that any threat to Saudi Arabia’s territorial integrity will evoke a response from Islamabad.

General Sharif had in November 2015 travelled to Saudi Arabia for talks with Saudi King Salman on counter-terrorism cooperation. He also met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

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