Pakistan prepares warm welcome for Saudi Crown Prince

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Pakistan is preparing a warm welcoming ceremony for Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, due to arrive on Sunday.

Banners heralding the Crown Prince were already lining the streets of the capital Friday, and a grand reception has been planned for what will be his first visit to Pakistan since he was appointed heir to the throne in 2017.

Islamabad is hoping to sign a raft of investment deals and other agreements during the two-day visit, which begins Sunday and will include talks with Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan and the powerful army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

The Crown Prince had originally been due to arrive on Saturday, but late Friday the Pakistan foreign ministry released a statement saying the visit had been delayed by one day, with the programme unchanged.

Saudi Arabia is reportedly preparing to sign a record investment package with Pakistan, including a $10 billion refinery and oil complex for the strategic Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea.

Pakistan's foreign office spokesman said Islamabad is seeking to sign a number of other deals, including one on “combating organized crime”.

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are also participating in talks with the US and other countries seeking to bring the Taliban to the table for peace negotiations with Kabul after more than 17 years of war.

The Taliban have claimed their representatives will visit Islamabad on Monday, after the Saudi Crown Prince leaves.

With Agencies.

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