Saudi Crown Prince Arrives in Pakistan to a Warm Welcome

October 19, 2003
ISLAMABAD (IRNA) - Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz was accorded warm welcome on Saturday when he arrived in Islamabad on a two-day visit to Pakistan, his second in five years.

He was expected to hold talks with Pakistani leadership on international, regional and bilateral matters, focusing on security and economic issues.

The crown prince was received at the Islamabad international airport by President General Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali.

The reception at the airport was a major shift from the usual practice, where the heads of state and government were received at the President House, Aiwan-e-Sadr.

The Saudi crown prince's aircraft was escorted by F-16s planes of the Pakistan Air Force as it entered the country's air space. The airport building was decorated with the flags of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, and banners inscribed with welcome slogans.

On Sunday the visiting official is scheduled to hold talks with the prime minister and to visit a display of Pakistan-made arms the Islamabad Convention Center.

"The visit of Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz to Pakistan is significant as it is taking place immediately after the OIC Summit in Malaysia and at a critical juncture of history when the Ummah is facing a host of challenges," Radio Pakistan said Friday.

High level visits do take place between the two countries very often to exchange views on bilateral, regional and international issues.

Crown Prince Abdullah paid an official visit to Pakistan in October 1998. President Musharraf visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in June and the Prime Minister Jamali in August this year.

On the economic front, Pakistani exports to Saudi Arabia during the last financial year totaled 776.8 million dollars while imports were to the tune of 1.3 billion dollars.

There is an estimated million strong Pakistani community in Saudi Arabia including doctors, engineers, paramedical staff, businessmen, professionals and unskilled labour.

During the last financial year, this community remitted over 580 million dollars to Pakistan.