Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi are also accompanying the Prime Minister.
The premier is visiting the Kingdom on the invitation of the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud to witness the military exercise ‘North Thunder.‘
A large number of other Heads of State and Government have also been invited to witness the ongoing military exercise and its closing ceremony.
“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 stated.
“As is well known, 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 FO further said that 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.
Troops from 21 countries, including Pakistan, are participating in ‘Thunder North‘ exercise, in the northern region of Saudi Arabia. The main goal of the exercise is to improve training in responding to threats posed by terrorist groups.
The exercise comes as a Saudi-led coalition of Arab countries began targeting rebels and their allies in Yemen in a campaign of airstrikes that began in March 2015.
Pakistan has voiced support for the mission but is not taking part in the strikes.
Pakistan has deep military connections with Saudi Arabia and it has long benefited from the oil-rich kingdom‘s largesse. Nawaz Sharif himself has close personal ties with the Saudi royal family who sheltered him during years in exile.
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The 68th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China.
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily