Islamabad: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) expressed his ecstasy over the appointment of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan saying that the kingdom was waiting for a leadership like his to strengthen Saudi-Pakistan relations and optimise the economic future of crisis-hit Pakistan.
Addressing a reception at Imran Khan’s house, MBS said Pakistan was a "dear country" to all Saudis and that the two countries "have walked together in tough and good times", Dawn news reported.
"We believe that Pakistan is going to be a very, very important country in the coming future and we want to be sure we are part of that. Pakistan today has a great future in store with a great leadership," he said.
The Saudi Prince said that his country will be collaborating with Pakistan economically, politically and in terms of security.
Mohammed bin Salman said that Saudi believes in Pakistan and will invest in it as a bright future is in store for Pakistan.
"This is my first trip (to the) east since I became the Crown Prince (in 2017) and the first country (that I have visited) is Pakistan," Salman added.
20 billion dollars worth of Memorandums of understanding (MoU) were signed by the two leaders for bilateral co-operation.
The deals include funds to refine the petrochemical industry, co-operation in the fields of sports and other sectors, power generation and renewable energy projects.
PM Imran Khan said that Pakistan has always turned to Saudi whenever in dire need of help and that they have always been ‘a friend in need’ to Pakistan.
Khan openly invited Saudi Arabia to avail opportunities from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Pakistan's close links with Beijing. He also put forward two requests in front of the Crown Prince.
The requests included, firstly, to make immigration easier for Pakistani Haj pilgrims at the three major Pakistani airports before leaving for Saudi Arabia for their convenience.
Secondly, was to improve the conditions of Pakistani labourers working in Saudi Arabia.
The Crown Prince was given a 21-gun salute and was received by PM Imran Khan, Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and other senior Cabinet Ministers at Nur Khan Air base in Rawalpindi.
Breaking protocol, Khan personally drove the Saudi royal to the Prime Minister's House.
The visit was initially scheduled for February 16, but was delayed by a day for unknown reasons.
After Pakistan, the Crown Prince is scheduled to travel to India, where he will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.