Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani met Saudi King Abdullah in Jeddah and reportedly reiterated its interest in selling heavy defence equipment, including tanks and armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia; Saudi Arabia local media reports said Tuesday.
Gilani met the Saudi King late Monday night and also requested to Saudi officials to extend the deferred oil payment facility to Pakistan again, so as to help it overcome the current budgetary problems, reports said. Saudi Arabia indicated it would consider the suggestion, Dawn newspaper reported.
The current situation in Afghanistan, especially the emerging situation in the wake of the anticipated US pullout and its fallout on the entire region, was also discussed between the two leaders.
Saudi Arabia underlined the significant role that Islamabad had to play in bringing about a peaceful, negotiated, end to the Afghan imbroglio. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia agreed to the need of peace and stability in the Middle East.
They discussed ways of enhancing trade and economic ties between the two countries. The two sides agreed to continue close coordination on all major issues and to stand by each other in times of need.
The meeting was marked by complete unanimity of views on most regional and global issues, sources said. This visit was basically to perform Umrah, the Pakistani side conceded, yet the Saudi leadership opted to invite the prime minister on an official working visit of the Kingdom. This was a special gesture from Saudi Arabia as they rarely invite foreign leaders on official visits during Ramadan, Pakistani diplomats said.
Prime Minister Gilani profusely thanked the king for the kind gesture. Sources said that the prime minister laid out before the king the difficulties and the tough economic conditions the country was facing because the on going war on terror.
Islamic Republic News Agency