PM, Army Chief to visit Saudi Arabia on March 9

02:31 PM | 7 Mar, 2016
PM, Army Chief to visit Saudi Arabia on March 9
ISLAMABAD (Staff Report) - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif would visit Saudi Arabia on March 9 on the invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.

The Prime Minister during his visit would also witness the ongoing military exercise `North Thunder' and its closing ceremony, a statement from the Foreign Office said.

A number of other Heads of State and Government have also been invited to witness the event. Troops from twenty one countries, including Pakistan are participating in the exercise in the northern region of Saudi Arabia. The main goal of the exercise is to improve training in responding to the threat posed by terrorist groups.

Pakistan enjoys cordial and brotherly relations with Saudi Arabia, which are characterized by strong bonds of affinity, mutual respect and solidarity, and draw strength from shared historical, cultural and Islamic values.

Both countries enjoy multi faceted cooperation, including in the fields of defense and counter-terrorism.

The Foreign Office statement said the people of Pakistan hold the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in high esteem. "The Government of Pakistan has affirmed that we will always stand shoulder to shoulder with our Saudi brethren against any threat to territorial integrity and sovereignty of Saudi Arabia," the statement said.

Director General of Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Lt Gen Asim Bajwa said the army chief will visit Saudi Arabia to witness military exercise.

“On special invitation, #COAS will visit KSA and witness ongoing Military Exercises from 9th of March, in the field for two days,” he wrote on Twitter.

Pakistan has consistently supported all regional and international efforts to combat militancy, extremism and terrorism and, to this end, has extended its full support and cooperation to the international community, the Foreign Office said.