Saudi Crown Prince likely to meet Taliban leaders in Pakistan
00:30, Feb 19, 2019
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The crown prince, widely known as "MBS", launched his diplomatic trip in the capital Islamabad, where he was set to sign a raft of investment deals believed to be worth billions that Pakistan hopes will provide welcome relief to its teetering economy.
The two sides reaffirmed the historical relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
Pakistan Monday conferred its highest civilian award Nishan-e-Pakistan on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman for his "outstanding support" in reinvigorating the ties between the two countries.
Fighter jets escorted the prince's plane across Pakistani airspace and television stations devoted hours of live coverage to the royal motorcade and ceremony, where officials signed memoranda of understanding in energy, minerals and agriculture valued at about $20 billion.
The Prime Minister and the Crown Prince spoke to the media at the airport.
The crown prince, who is visiting Pakistan at the invitation of Prime Minister Imran Khan, will be given a red carpet welcome and presented a guard of honour at Mr Khan's official residence after his arrival at Noor Khan Air Base in Rawalpindi.
Sanjranj said Saudi investment in Pakistan shows the trust of the worldwide community in the country which would pave the way for opening new avenues of cooperation and economic partnership for regional development.
That agreement involves United "lending its business and sporting expertise to clubs, sporting authorities and individuals in Saudi Arabia".
According to Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, the government has finalized arrangements to warmly welcome the crown prince and that Prime Minister Imran Khan will personally receive him at the airport.
New Delhi accuses Islamabad of playing a role in the attack that killed more than 40 Indian security forces. Pakistani officials say the facility will be in place in next "3-5 years" in Gwadar and will meet the country's needs of refined oil products now being imported.
"Pakistan looks forward to enhanced cooperation in the banking sector, education sector, science and technology, trade and investment, construction sector and cultural cooperation especially, in the field of films and cinemas and tourism", he said.
Former Pakistani diplomat, Asif Durrani, insisted the militant attacks in Iran and Indian Kashmir could be an attempt to overshadow the royal visit and put Pakistan under pressure. "Saudi Arabia contributes significantly to our energy security needs by supplying about 20% of crude requirements to India", the statement added.
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