ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s new army chief General Asim Munir has embarked on a seven-day visit to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), confirmed the military’s media wing ISPR on Thursday after his meeting with the Saudi defense minister, Prince Khalid bin Salman, was reported by SPA news agency.
Pakistan has always maintained close diplomatic and defense relations with the two Arab countries that employ a large number of its workers. According to official statistics, the Pakistani diaspora in Saudi Arabia remitted $6.67 billion in 2022 which was closely followed by its citizens in the UAE who sent $5.10 billion.
The two Middle Eastern countries have also come to Pakistan’s rescue amid tough financial circumstances by offering it deferred oil payment facilities and sending substantial amounts of money to shore up its forex reserves.
They have also closely collaborated in the fields of defense and security.
“General Syed Asim Munir, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), is on an official visit to KSA [Kingdom of Saudi Arabia] and UAE from 4th to 10th December,” the ISPR said in a brief statement. “COAS will be meeting the senior leadership of both brotherly countries to discuss matters of mutual interest, military to military cooperation and bilateral relations focusing on security related subjects.”
This is the first visit of the army chief to the two Middle Eastern countries since his appointment to the post last November.
The Saudi defense minister congratulated him on his elevation at the outset of the meeting that focused on “military and defense cooperation and ways to support and enhance them,” according to the SPA news agency.
It added that the two officials also discussed “the most important regional and international issues of common interest.”
The meeting was also attended by top Saudi generals along with senior military and civilian officials of the two countries.