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President of Pakistan called on Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister

Islamabad: President Asif Ali Zardari has said that there exists huge potential of trade and economic activities between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. He said that for tapping this enormous potential it was important that the existing mechanisms such as Joint Ministerial Commission and the Joint Business Council are fully utilized. Finalization of Bilateral Investment treaty would also go a long way to boost the bilateral economic relations, the President said.

He said this during his meeting with Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz here at Aiwan-e-Sadr today.

Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz was accompanied by Dr. Abdul Aziz bin Ibrahim Al-Ghadeer, Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan, Mr. Faisal Hashmim, Assistant Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs and other officials.

Foreign Minister Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, Interior Minister Senator A. Rehman Malik, Petroleum Minister Dr. Asim Hussain and other senior officials were also present from Pak side.

The President said that the two countries enjoy special relations that are marked by an atmosphere of trust, brotherhood and common perceptions on all the issues of mutual interest. He said that the people of Pakistan have a special feelings for the Saudi brethren and highly regard and appreciate Saudi brethren’s support at every hour of distress, may that be 2005 earthquake or any other natural calamity.

He said that with our existing relations, there was a need to focus on further strengthening and enhancing economic and trade ties between the two countries.

He said that Pakistan attaches great importance to early finalization of Pakistan-GCC Free Trade Agreement and we would greatly appreciate Saudi’s invaluable support in this regard.

The President said that Pakistan would welcome Saudi investment in all the sectors especially energy, oil and gas exploration and construction. The President reiterated his offer to meet Saudi’s manpower requirement.

He said that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have a rich cultural heritage and a vibrant media. It would be in interest of the two countries to promote frequent exchanges in these fields, the President said.

Regional situation was also discussed during the meeting. The President said that regional countries need to find regional solutions to their problems. He said that drug trade was a main issue in the region and needs to be tackled on priority.

Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz thanked the President for meeting and said that Saudi Arabia was also keen to further strengthen the existing relations with Pakistan. Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Abdullah also expressed concerns on behalf of the King, the Government and people of Saudi Arabia over the tragedy in Siachen.

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