Crescent Kashmir

Bajwa, Saudi deputy defence minister discuss security issues

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ISLAMABAD: Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa held talks with Saudi Deputy Minister for Defence Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz on bilateral defence cooperation and regional security, said the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Tuesday.

“Matters of mutual interest including bilateral defence and security cooperation and regional security were discussed,” the Pakistan military’s media wing further said.

According to the Saudi Press Agency, the meeting was held on Monday.

The Saudi statement explained that besides the bilateral cooperation, talks were also held on enhancing cooperation for security and stability in the region. Without elaborating, it said issues of “common concern” were also discussed.

Tweeting after the meeting, Prince Khalid, who is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s full younger brother, said: “Met today with my brother, H.E. General Qamar Bajwa, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff. We discussed bilateral relations, military cooperation, and our common vision for preserving regional security.”

Gen Bajwa had reached the kingdom for defence talks on Monday and met Chief of General Staff Gen Fayiadh bin Ha’med Al-Rowaily, and Commander of Joint Forces Lt Gen Fahad bin Turki Al Saud. Military ties were discussed during those meetings.

Gen Bajwa is being acc­o­mpanied by Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lt Gen Faiz Ha­­meed during the visit, which is taking place amidst strain in bilateral ties caused after Foreign Minister Shah Meh­mood Qureshi complained about the Saudi-dominated Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) dragging its feet on Pakistani request for a meeting of its Council of Foreign Ministers on Kashmir.

Published in Dawn, August 19th, 2020

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