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Saudi Arabia seeks to overcome differences with other states

March 31, 2021 at 12:33 pm

Billboards showing portraits of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (L) and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan (R) in Islamabad on 15 February 2019 [AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images]

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman called Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday to wish him a speedy recovery from Covid-19 and discuss mutual relations, the Saudi Press Agency has reported. Khan tested positive for the virus on 20 March and has been in self-isolation at home ever since.

According to the Pakistani newspaper DAWN, Bin Salman also invited Khan to visit Riyadh. His telephone call came two days after telephone discussions between the foreign ministers of the two countries.

Observers are now suggesting that this indicates that Saudi Arabia is seeking to overcome its differences with other countries, especially long-term allies. These phone calls follow months of tension between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan over the repayment of a massive loan.

The prime minister’s office said that Khan was very pleased to be able to extend his “best greetings and hopes” that the prince is in good health and safe from the pandemic. “I would like to convey deep respects and warm wishes for the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Majesty King Salman Bin Abdulaziz,” he added.

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