ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan and Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman on Saturday held a meeting in Riyadh to discuss new regional developments in the wake of rising tensions in the region.
The premier arrived in Riyadh late in the afternoon after a brief stopover in Madina.
In the meeting with MBS, Pakistan-Saudi Arabia ties also came under discussion.
At the royal terminal of the kingdom’s capital, he was greeted by Riyadh Governor Faisal bin Bandar Al Saud and Pakistan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Raja Ali Ejaz, besides officials of Saudi protocol and officers of Pakistan Consulate.
Earlier, the prime minister landed in Madina and paid his respects at the Holy Prophet’s grave and offered nawafil in Masjid-e-Nabvi. PM Imran was received by Madina Deputy Governor Prince Saud Bin Khalid Al-Faisal.
Imran’s visit is part of Pakistan’s continued efforts to facilitate rapprochement between Riyadh and Tehran.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, also accompanied by the head of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), visited Riyadh on Wednesday and is believed to have laid the ground for the premier’s visit.
The flurry of visits by Pakistani civil and military leadership to Saudi Arabia and Iran over the past few weeks suggested that there might be ‘some breakthrough’ in the diplomatic manoeuvres initiated by Islamabad.
This is Prime Minister Imran’s fourth visit to Saudi Arabia since May. In October, he also travelled to Iran following his meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in New York in September.
The army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and the ISI Director General Lt-Gen Faiz Hameed also visited Iran. General Qamar’s visit to Tehran in November was considered significant as he, according to a media report, was carrying important message for the Iranian leadership on behalf of Saudis.
Pakistan has been trying to seek a patch-up between Iran and Saudi Arabia since September when the Saudi oil facilities came under missile attacks.