Jubeir: Saudi Arabia, Pakistan to cooperate in facing regional challenges

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Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel al-Jubeir, affirmed that Riyadh and Islamabad will work with each other in order to overcome challenges through joint cooperation, combating terrorism and supporting regional security and stability.

“We will cooperate with each other and seek to overcome problems in the region and there is a desire to consolidate and expand these historical relations,” Jubeir said during a joint press conference on Monday with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

Jubeir’s statements came on the last day of the Saudi Crown Prince’s state visit to Islamabad.

The Saudi diplomat also spoke on Pakistan’s efforts in helping the Taliban reach a settlement with the Afghan government.

Jubeir also expressed his surprise at Iran’s accusation that Pakistan was behind the recent attack on the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the border city of Zahedan.

“Such accusations are surprising by Iran, which has long incited terrorism and practiced it in other countries such as Yemen and Syria and harbor al-Qaeda terrorists on its soil,” he said.

He went on to say that terrorism is the common enemy and that Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United States were working together to combat that danger, pointing out that Iran is the “haven of terrorists” and “the last country to accuse others of terrorism.”

He spoke on the expanding ties between Islamabad and Riyadh following the inaugural session of the joint Saudi-Pakistani Coordination Council held late on Sunday.

For his part, Pakistan’s foreign minister said the joint council’s meeting was important in following up bilateral agreements and memorandums of understandings between the two countries.

“The council reflects the Kingdom’s desire to implement agreements and memorandums of understandings, as well as several deals under process that will be signed at the council’s next meeting,” he said.

He added that Pakistan has set up 10 working groups to follow up the Saudi investments in his country, and agreed to set specific dates for regular meetings for the council to jointly meet in the future.

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan signed seven memorandums of understandings worth $20 billion across several sectors including oil, mining and energy.