Defence

Saudi Arabia, Pakistan vow to reset ties strained over Kashmir issue

Saudi Arabia and longstanding ally Pakistan signed several agreements Saturday and vowed to reset ties strained by months of disagreement over policy on the Kashmir dispute.

On his seventh visit to the wealthy kingdom since his 2018 election, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was given a warm welcome by Saudi officials in the western coastal city of Jeddah. He was greeted by Saudi Arabia’s de-facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the airport, before holding talks with Saudi officials at Jeddah’s Al-Salam Palace.

“They affirmed the depth of relations between the two brotherly countries and underscored the importance of expanding and intensifying aspects of bilateral cooperation and coordination,” a Saudi statement said.

Although the kingdom was the first foreign country Imran Khan visited after taking office, Riyadh appeared frustrated with Islamabad last year.

In a sharply worded statement in August, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi called on the Saudi-based Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to convene a high-level meeting on Kashmir.

The call raised eyebrows in Riyadh, where it was widely seen as a warning that Pakistan was preparing to call for a session outside OIC auspices.

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India Today
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