Saudi Assistant Defense Minister Meets Pakistani Army Chief

ANI ISPR Reuters08.01.2016 KSA
Saudi Assistant Defense Minister Meets Pakistani Army Chief

Saudi Assistant Defense Minister Meets Pakistani Army Chief

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A Saudi official met last week with Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif for discussing regional security and bilateral defense cooperation.

“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.

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

Islamabad and Riyadh added another dimension to defense cooperation in October when Pakistan trained Saudi Special Forces in counter-terrorism.

While speaking at the conclusion of the Saudi-Pakistani joint military training drill, dubbed Al-Shihab, the Army Chief reiterated that any threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia would evoke a strong response from Pakistan.

He said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy a long history of deep-rooted cooperation. “This drill signifies the joint effort of our two countries against terrorism and we will defeat this menace in all its forms and manifestations,” he said.

General Sharif had in November 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.

Lastly, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister arrived in Pakistan yesterday to meet Pakistani Prime Minister Aziz and Army Chief General Raheel Sharif.

The visit comes after Pakistan last month distanced itself from an anti-Islamic State coalition announced by Saudi Arabia, which had named Pakistan as a member.

Saudi Arabia is expected to convene a meeting of the coalition partners in January.

Pakistan also declined a Saudi call to join a Riyadh-led intervention, backed by most Sunni Gulf Arab states, in Yemen last year to fight Iranian-allied rebels.



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