Sharif to visit Saudi Arabia

Islamabad, March 7 (IANS) Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will pay an official visit to Saudi Arabia on March 9 for talks on security cooperation and to witness military exercises, officials said here on Monday.

Leaders from other countries have also been invited to witness the ongoing multi-nation military exercise “North Thunder” and its closing ceremony, said a foreign ministry statement.

Troops from 21 countries, including Pakistan, are participating in the exercise in the northern region of Saudi Arabia.

“The main goal of the exercise is to improve training in response to the threat posed by terrorist groups,” the statement added.

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud invited the prime minister to visit the kingdom.

The foreign ministry said Pakistan will always stand shoulder to shoulder with Saudi Arabia against any threat to its territorial integrity and sovereignty.

“Pakistan has consistently supported all regional and international efforts to combat militancy, extremism and terrorism and has extended its full support and cooperation to the international community,” the ministry said.

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