ISLAMABAD, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Tuesday that there is a need to start a new era of strategic relationship between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in order to further broaden and deepen the existing cordial bilateral relations.
The remarks were made during Sharif's meeting with Prince Saud Al-Faisal bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, foreign minister of Saudi Arabia who called on the Pakistani prime minister in Islamabad.
While discussing the Afghan situation, Sharif reaffirmed that Pakistan remains committed to facilitating Afghan-led and Afghan- owned peace and reconciliation process, adding that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan is in Pakistan's interest.
Pakistan supports all efforts aimed at strengthening unity among the Islamic countries, said the prime minister. "Pakistan and Saudi Arabia need to enhance bilateral trade to reflect the strong fraternal bonds that exist between our two countries by regular meetings between the commerce ministers to explore ways of enhancing bilateral trade,"said the prime minister.
He said that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have always stood by each other in testing times and the people of Pakistan deeply value relations with the kingdom.
Both the leaders discussed issues of bilateral and regional importance, a statement from the prime minister said.
While discussing the energy situation of Pakistan, Sharif said Pakistan would welcome investment by the kingdom in its energy sector as well as other sectors like infrastructure, agriculture and livestock. He stressed that his government wishes to enhance economic and business ties with the kingdom and is ready to grant privileges to foreign businessmen.
Sharif also thanked the Saudi government for extending help to Pakistani workers affected by the recent labor laws enacted in the kingdom, saying that the large Pakistani community in Saudi Arabia is a human bridge between the two brotherly countries.