Pak-KSA reiterates commitment to further deepen the historic ties

Saudi envoy denounced speculations of change in visa policy for Pakistanis


Islamabad- Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf bin Said Al-Maliki called on Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Islamabad today. The two sides discussed bilateral relations and enhancement of cooperation.

The Foreign Minister said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have tremendous opportunities of promotion of bilateral cooperation in various fields, and they need to be exploited.

He said the two countries have deep historical relations. He said a large number of Pakistanis have been residing in Saudi Arabia for several decades and playing their role in progress and development of Saudi Arabia. Shah Mahmood Qureshi expressed gratitude to the Saudi Foreign Minister and Saudi government for supporting Pakistan’s resolution on Kashmir at the OIC Foreign Ministers Council meeting.

He said the OIC’s reiteration of its principled stance regarding Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir in Niamey Declaration is commendable. The Foreign Minister said Pakistan supports the efforts for peaceful resolution of issues in the Gulf region. Speaking with the media, Saudi envoy Nawaful Malki clarified that only those people who did not have valid documents were being asked to leave the kingdom and Pakistanis were not being targeted. He further clarified that people from other countries were also being asked to leave. “People holding iqamas and valid visas are not being asked to leave,” he maintained.

Fears of Saudi Arabia sending back Pakistanis grew recently after UAE suspended issuing new visas to citizens of 13 mostly Muslim-majority countries, including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Syria, according to a document issued by a state-owned business park.

The authorities later clarified that the steps were being taken only as a measure to limit the spread of coronavirus. A document, seen by Reuters, said applications for new employment and visit visas had been suspended for nationals – those outside the UAE – of 13 countries that also included Somalia, Libya and Yemen until further notice. The ban also applies to citizens of Algeria, Kenya, Iraq, Lebanon, Tunisia and Turkey, it says. It was not clear if there were any exceptions to the ban.



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