Saudi king assures Zardari of support


President Asif Ali Zardari and King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia reiterated their resolve to further deepen bilateral relations on Wednesday and to lay greater stress on economic cooperation.
The two leaders, who met here at the Royal Palace, held extensive discussions on bilateral ties, the situation in the Middle East and South Asia and the fight against militancy. Presidential Spokesman Farhatullah Babar told reporters that President Zardari, on a two-day visit to Saudi Arabia, held a 75-minute meeting with the Saudi king soon after arriving in Jeddah. This is President Zardari’s first official visit to Saudi Arabia in three years since he assumed the office.
About the situation in the Middle East, President Zardari said Pakistan favoured political stability and was against the use of violence. King Abdullah praised Pakistan’s sacrifices in the fight against militancy and said the kingdom was a steadfast friend of Pakistan through thick and thin.
Earlier, upon arrival at the King Abdul Aziz International Airport, President Zardari was received by Second Deputy Premier and Minister for Interior Prince Naif Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Makkah Governor Prince Khalid Al Faisal and the mayor of Jeddah. Babar said the visit was aimed at strengthening bilateral ties and taking forward the consultative process on issues of peace, security and political stability in countries of the region that had recently witnessed violence and turmoil. As a special gesture, the Saudi government accepted the credentials of new Pakistani envoy Muhammad Naeem Khan within hours of his arrival in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.