Saudi Arabia to join CPEC, says Saudi envoy


ISLAMABAD Sept 22 (TNS): Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan Nawaf Saeed Ahmed Al-Maliky has said that his country will soon join the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project and invest at Gwadar Port.

In an interview, Al-Maliky said that Saudi Arabia’s investments will consolidate the brotherly ties and bilateral trade relations between the two countries.

He said that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had met with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia during the former’s visit to the kingdom and discussed new ways to boost bilateral trade.

He revealed that the two countries vowed to boost cooperation in the fields of health, education, sports and others.

He said Saudi Arabia will be offering scholarships to Pakistani students in universities in the fields of electrical and mechanical engineering, science and technology and in other fields. He informed that the process to implement this will be initiated soon.

“The exchange of experts and cultural delegations would be ensured between the two countries,” he said.

Al- Maliky talked about extending cultural ties between the two countries and stated that more than three million Pakistanis are playing their role in the development of Saudi Arabia.

He added that Saudi Arabia attaches great importance to Pakistan being strong, for it believes that a strong Pakistan can strengthen Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi ambassador highlighted that the kingdom highly values Pakistan Army and strategic relations with Pakistan, an example of which is evident from the fact that General Qamar Javed Bajwa after taking charge as Chief of Army Staff made his first visit to Saudi Arabia.

Acknowledging Pakistan’s role in the fight against terrorism, Al-Maliky said that the objective of giving the command of Islamic coalition forces to General (R) Raheel Sharif was to enhance the capabilities of the forces in the war against terrorism and to exchange and share the intelligence information.

He said Islam is the religion of peace and urged scholars and intellectuals to collaborate and resolve issues through interfaith dialogue. He lamented that Islam is largely misunderstood in Europe and called it a religion of peace having no links to terrorism.