Press TV, Islamabad
The Saudi Foreign Minister has visited Pakistan as part of efforts to ease apparent tensions between the two countries. Islamabad and Riyadh have longstanding ties but in recent years the two countries struggle to overcome differences on certain regional and strategic issues.
This is the first visit by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan since 2019 to Pakistan. The top Saudi diplomat visited Islamabad at a time when the region is undergoing transformation.
Against this backdrop the Saudi Foreign Minister held talks with his Pakistani counterpart. After the talks, the two sides presented a positive picture of their relationship.
The Saudi Foreign Minister said his country wanted to deepen cooperation with Pakistan in all fields. But despite positive statements given by both the ministers, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have had issues that marred their bilateral ties in recent years.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, which are otherwise close allies, have divergent views on certain issues.
While Riyadh is reluctant to back Pakistan on the longstanding Kashmir dispute, Islamabad has refused to toe Saudi policies on the Yemen war. These differences prompted Pakistan to return a three billion dollar loan to Saudi Arabia ahead of schedule earlier this year.
There was a time when Saudi Arabia enjoyed goodwill among the people of Pakistan. But in recent years that public support has diminished largely due to Saudi Arabia’s refusal to publicly criticize India over its human rights abuses in the disputed Kashmir region.