Pakistan PM, army chief to hold security talks in Saudi Arabia

  • PTI, Islamabad
  • Updated: Mar 09, 2016 20:14 IST
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. (AFP File Photo)

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif left for Saudi Arabia on Wednesday on a three-day official visit to hold important security talks with the oil-rich gulf country, which heads a 34-nation Islamic coalition against terrorism.

The Foreign Office said the prime minister was invited by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud to witness the military exercise North Thunder, where a large number of other heads of state have been invited to participate in the closing ceremony.

The prime minister, who is accompanied by army chief Gen Raheel Sharif, will meet top Saudi leaders during the March 9-11 visit and offer to expand cooperation with Saudi Arabia in its fight against terrorism, the Foreign Office statement said.

Pakistan is part of the 34-nation coalition of Islamic countries cobbled together by Saudi Arabia to fight terrorism.

Troops from about two dozen countries, including Pakistan, are participating in the North Thunder exercise, in the northern region of Saudi Arabia.

The main goal of the exercise is to improve training to respond to threats posed by terrorist groups.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy multi-faceted cooperation, including in the fields of defence and counter-terrorism. Pakistan has said several times that it will always stand shoulder to shoulder with Saudi Arabia to counter any threat to its territorial integrity and sovereignty, an official statement said.

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