Pakistan’s premier calls for closer cooperation with Saudi Arabia to enhance investment in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s prime minister called for closer cooperation between Saudi Arabia and his cash-strapped Islamic nation to enhance Saudi investment in his country, a government statement said Tuesday.

Shehbaz Sharif made his remarks during a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan who arrived Monday in the capital, Islamabad, to discuss a range of issues, including how to help Pakistan overcome its economic crisis.

The previous week, Sharif met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia, one of Pakistan’s closest allies and a leading supplier of oil to Islamabad. According to Pakistani officials, Prince Mohammed had assured Pakistan that Saudi Arabia would invest $5 billion in Pakistan.

On Monday, Sharif said the visit by Prince Faisal and the high level delegation showed the “strong commitment of both countries to the strengthening of bilateral relations focused on mutually beneficial economic cooperation.”

Prince Faisal also met with President Asif Ali Zardari. He was expected to address a joint news conference with his Pakistani counterpart, Ishaq Dar, later Tuesday.

In July, Saudi Arabia deposited $2 billion into Pakistan’s central bank to boost its foreign exchange reserves.

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