Pakistan

COAS Munir and Saudi Commander Discuss Defence Ties and Middle East Crisis

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have agreed to further strengthen their cooperation on regional and international matters, and keep close collaboration at multilateral fora, including the OIC and the United Nations.

This was the outcome of a meeting between Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir and Commander of the Royal Saudi Land Forces (RSLF) Lieutenant General Fahd bin Abdullah Al-Mutair, who called on him at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi on Monday.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the two sides discussed various areas of mutual interest, including cooperation in the fields of defence, security and military training. They also exchanged views on the prevailing situation in the Middle East, especially the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The visiting dignitary appreciated the Pakistan Army’s role in fighting the menace of terrorism and paid rich tribute to the sacrifices made in bringing peace to the region. He also lauded Pakistan’s efforts to facilitate dialogue and de-escalation of tensions among the Muslim countries.

Gen Munir thanked the dignitary and said: “Pakistan deeply values its strategic and brotherly ties with the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia.” He reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to stand by Saudi Arabia against any threat to its sovereignty and territorial integrity. He also expressed solidarity with the people of Kashmir, who have been facing Indian oppression and human rights violations for over a year.

Earlier on arrival at the GHQ, a smartly turned-out contingent of the Pakistan Army presented the guard of honour to the visiting dignitary. He also laid a floral wreath at the Yadgar-e-Shuhada and offered Fateha for the martyrs of Pakistan.

The meeting between the COAS and the Saudi commander came at a time when the Middle East is witnessing a fragile ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, which was brokered by Egypt, Qatar, the United States and the European Union. The ceasefire, which began on November 23, has seen the exchange of dozens of hostages between the two sides. However, the humanitarian situation in Gaza remains dire, as the Israeli blockade and bombardment have caused widespread destruction and displacement.

Pakistan has been actively supporting the Palestinian cause and urging the international community to take urgent steps to end the Israeli aggression and ensure the protection of the rights of the Palestinian people. Pakistan has also been playing a constructive role in promoting dialogue and reconciliation among the Muslim countries, especially between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which have been locked in a rivalry over regional influence and sectarian issues.

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