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Pak and Saudi pledge to enhance military ties

Islamabad: Pakistan Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and senior Saudi Arabian defence officials Tuesday pledged to enhance strategic relations between the armies of the two countries and to increase joint exercises.

Kayani, currently on an official visit to Saudi Arabia, called on Defence Minister Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, Deputy Defence Minister Prince Khalid Bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz and Royal Land Forces Commander Gen Khalid bin Bandr Bin Abdul Aziz.
During these talks, Kayani and the Saudi defence officials vowed to enhance strategic relations between the two armies, said a statement from the Pakistan Embassy in Riyadh.
They also agreed to increase joint exercises between two armed forces.

Detailed discussions were held on various aspects of combat capabilities and the two sides agreed to “work hard to further enhance interaction between the two armed forces and their combat capabilities”, the statement said.
Both sides noted that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have a “unique” relationship that is “long-lasting and time-tested” and “unmatched with the strongest bonds”.

Kayani expressed his gratitude to the Saudi government and people for the “exemplary support extended to Pakistan at all times”.
The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to “maintain and reinforce their relationship for peace and security in the region”.
Kayani left for Saudi Arabia last night though an official announcement was made only this morning.
“Discussions will be focused on bilateral relations, with emphasis on security and defence aspects,” a Pakistani military spokesman said earlier in the day.
The army chief’s visit assumes significance as it comes at a time when Pakistani lawmakers are debating recommendations for revamping ties with the US and NATO and recasting the country’s foreign policy.

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