Imran Khan accepts King Salman’s invitation to visit Saudi Arabia

August 13, 2018

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz called PM-in-waiting Imran Khan on Monday and congratulated him on his party’s victory in the July 25 elections.

The king told Imran that Pakistan was an important ally of Saudi Arabia and the kingdom wants a close relationship with the South Asian country.

Imran thanked King Salman and said Saudi Arabia has always supported Pakistan in its difficult times.

The PTI chairperson told King Salman that the protection of Harmain-Sharifain was part of Pakistani’s faith. He has also accepted King Salman’s offer to visit Saudi Arabia.

Ready to play constructive role between Iran, Saudi: Imran Khan

On August 4, Imran told Iranian envoy Mehdi Honardoost that Pakistan was “ready to play a constructive and positive role between Iran and Saudi Arabia”.

The PTI chairperson had also accepted Iranian President Hasan Rouhani’s invitation to visit Tehran. However, the visit will be finalised by the foreign ministries of the two countries after the PTI forms the government in Islamabad.

Saudi Arabia and Iran, arch-rivals since the 1979 Iranian revolution, are believed to have been supporting rival groups in Syria and Iraq.

Saudi backed bank agrees to lend $4bn to Imran Khan’s government

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has agreed to make a formal offer to lend Pakistan $4 billion when Imran takes over as the country’s prime minister, two officials told The Financial Times.

“The paperwork is all in place,” said one senior adviser in Islamabad. “The IDB is waiting for the elected government to take charge before giving their approval.”

The official said that the loan would not cover Pakistan’s expected financing gap of at least $25 billion during the financial year but was “an important contribution”.

One official at the State Bank of Pakistan who has been involved in negotiations with the IDB said the loan had the backing of the Saudi government, “which wants to play a part in rescuing Pakistan from its present crisis”.

Ministry of finance officials declined to comment on the issue when contacted by SAMAA Digital.