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
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
The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to "maintain
and reinforce their relationship for peace and security in the
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.