‘Pakistan wants to further strengthen ties with S Arabia’

* Saudi ambassador assures Shahbaz of continued support to Pakistan in the future
‘Pakistan wants to   further strengthen   ties with S Arabia’
AFP

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that Saudi Arabia is a great friend of Pakistan and has stood by it in every hour of need. 
Talking to Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Abdulaziz Al-Ghadeer who called on him on Sunday, Shahbaz said that people of the two countries have deep affiliation with each other. He said that Pakistan attaches high importance to its relations with Saudi Arabia. He said that historical fraternal relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were turning into useful economic ties. 
He said that the government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was making sincere efforts to cope with the challenges being faced by the country. He said that the energy crisis and extremism would be rooted out and Pakistan be put on the road to progress and prosperity. Matters of mutual interest and bilateral relations were also discussed in the meeting. 
Talking to the Saudi ambassador, Shahbaz said that economic and trade relations between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan were strengthening and people of the two countries were bound together in deep-rooted religious and fraternal ties. 
He said that the Saudi Arabian government, Khadim-e-Harmain Sharifain Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz and people of Saudi Arabia had helped Pakistan in every moment of trial. He said that the recent visit of the Saudi crown prince to Pakistan had further strengthened brotherly relations between the two countries. 
Shahbaz said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif wanted to further strengthen relationship with Saudi Arabia. 
Referring to the problems being faced by Pakistan, Shahbaz said that the country was beset with the energy crisis and extremism; however, Nawaz Sharif was determined to overcome these issues and had been making sincere efforts in this regard. 
He said that the Khidmat Card Programme in Punjab, the Youth Loan Scheme at the federal level and other projects would bring about economic and social stability in Pakistan. He said that the purpose of these programmes was to divert national resources to the common man.
Saudi Ambassador Abdulaziz Al-Ghadeer said that Saudi Arabia considers its relations with Pakistan “highly important”. He said that the ties between the two countries were strengthening and their friendship had stood the test of time. He said that public welfare programmes being implemented under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif would help achieve the objectives of progress and prosperity of the country. Similarly, he said that Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had added new chapters of progress and development to the history of the province. 
He assured that Saudi Arabia would continue to support Pakistan in the future as well.

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