Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan visits Saudi Arabia to discuss relations
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan visits Saudi Arabia to discuss relations

In a bid to reset and strengthen relations after tensions between the longtime allies in recent years, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has started a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia

Khan’s arrival in Riyadh on Friday after an invitation from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman holds much significance, analysts say. While Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have historically been close allies, their strong ties have suffered several setbacks.

Prime Minister Khan’s visit to Saudi Arabia this week is an attempt to reset relations to their former, very close level, said Madiha Afzal, a fellow at the foreign policy programme of Brookings Institution.

Saudi Arabia gave Pakistan a USD3 billion loan and a USD3.2 billion oil credit facility in late 2018. After Islamabad sought Riyadh's support over alleged human rights violations by India in the disputed territory of Kashmir, Saudi Arabia pushed Pakistan to repay the loan. Pakistan then turned to China for financial assistance.

The two countries remain important geostrategic partners and a stable relationship between Islamabad and Riyadh is expected to continue

Prior to Khan's arrival, Pakistani army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa arrived in Saudi and spoke to Mohammed bin Salman early on Friday, Pakistan's military said in a statement. "During the meeting, matters of mutual interest, regional security situation including recent developments.

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