Pakistan says Saudi prince to visit, sign investment deals

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi briefs journalists about the upcoming visit by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince to Pakistan, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019. Pakistan said Wednesday that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will arrive in Islamabad later this week on an official visit that is expected to include the signing of agreements for billions of dollars of investment in Pakistan. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan said Wednesday that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will arrive in Islamabad later this week on an official visit that is expected to include the signing of agreements for billions of dollars of investment in the South Asian country.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said the prince would meet with Prime Minister Imran Khan during the two-day visit, which begins Saturday. It will be the crown prince's first visit to Pakistan since he was appointed heir to the throne in 2017.

Pakistan voiced support for the prince during the international outcry after the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents. The kingdom has long provided aid to Pakistan, and signed an agreement for a $6 billion assistance package after Khan attended an investment conference in October that saw a wave of cancellations linked to the Khashoggi killing.

Pakistan is in the grip of a major debt crisis, and is seeking a multi-billion-dollar bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

Khashoggi, who had written critically about the prince, went missing on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. After denying any knowledge of his death for weeks, Saudi authorities eventually settled on the explanation that he was killed in an operation aimed at forcibly bringing the writer back to the kingdom. Saudi prosecutors say the plan was masterminded by two former advisers to the crown prince.

The kingdom denies the crown prince knew of the plot. The U.S. Senate, however, passed a unanimous resolution in December saying it believes the crown prince is to blame for the murder.

At a news conference Wednesday evening, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said he hoped Saudi Arabia will make "a huge and extraordinary investment in Pakistan as a result of this visit." He said Pakistan's relations with Saudi Arabia have witnessed improvement in recent months.

Khan's adviser for commerce, Abdul Razzak Dawood told reporters he expects a $7 billion Saudi investment in the country in the next two years and that agreements will be signed between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia when the Saudi crown prince visits Pakistan.

Pakistan has close ties to neighboring Iran, Saudi Arabia's main regional rival, and maintains a balancing act between the two.

Qureshi said retired Pakistani Gen. Raheel Sharif, who heads a 39-member Saudi-led military alliance, told him ahead of Prince Mohammad's visit that the coalition was not formed against any particular region or country.

Pakistan declined to join the Saudi-led coalition waging war on Iran-aligned rebels in Yemen.

People also read these

The Latest: Afghan chief executive goes on TV...

Jun 3, 2017

Afghanistan's chief executive has appeared live on television after surviving three suicide bomb...

Watchdog: Tight security hinders oversight of US...

Aug 1, 2017

The U.S. watchdog tasked with overseeing the spending of U.S. aid to Afghanistan said unprecedented...

The Latest: Taliban claim Kabul bank attack that...

Aug 29, 2017

The Latest: Taliban claim responsibility for suicide attack outside bank in Afghan capital that...

The Latest: US airstrike caused civilian...

Sep 27, 2017

The U.S. military says it conducted an airstrike in Afghanistan that mistakenly caused an...

Afghan officials: Taliban wave of attacks kills...

Oct 17, 2017

Taliban attacks across Afghanistan target police compounds, government facilities, killing at least...

About Us

Get all the up-to-date breaking news about politics, business, entertainment, sports, lifestyles, weather, traffic, and local news in a seamless digital environment only in Morning Dispatcher.

Contact us: sales[at]morningdispatcher.com

Subscribe Now!

Quick Links

HomePress