RAWALPINDI: General Raheel Sharif, chief of the army staff (COAS), has returned home after a visit to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
This was Gen Sharif’s first visit to a foreign country after assuming charge as COAS, and it indicates the importance Pakistan’s defence forces attach to relations with the KSA.
Saudi Arabia has always been a close friend of Pakistan and armies of both the countries enjoy unprecedented military to military relationship.
Gen Raheel was accorded special protocol throughout his stay in Saudi Arabia.
The army chief met Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, crown prince, deputy prime minister and defence minister of KSA.
The crown prince expressed warm sentiments about Pakistan and said that the kingdom has a special relationship with Pakistan. The two sides expressed satisfaction with the status of bilateral cooperation in the field of defence.
The crown prince also conferred King Abdulaziz Order of Excellence Medal on General Sharif, who had a busy schedule during his three-day stay in Saudi Arabia. The COAS also held meetings with General Hussain bin Abdullah Al Qubayal, Chief of General Staff, Saudi armed forces, and Lieutenant General Eid bin Awad Al Shalawi, Commander Royal Saudi Land Forces in Riyadh. During the meetings, issues of mutual interest, including defence and security cooperation, and measures contributing towards regional stability came under discussion. General Sharif also visited the Saudi Ministry of Interior and held a meeting with General Abdul Rahman Al-Rubaian, deputy minister, where he was briefed on the counter-terrorism performance of the ministry.
General Raheel also performed Umrah and prayed for peace, progress and prosperity of Pakistan.
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