President Dr Arif Alvi Monday said that the leaderships of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia shares identical views and vision for the development and prosperity of their countries. Addressing a luncheon ceremony held in the Aiwan-e-Sadr in the honour of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, the president said both the brotherly countries have always been trusted friends, tied in the stronger bonds of brotherhood and religion. He expressed the hope that these time-tested bonds of friendship and close cooperation will further grow with the time to come. “There may be geographic distance between the two countries, but we are close at hearts, “he added. He said establishment of the Supreme Coordination Council between the two countries will infuse further strength to bilateral ties. He appreciated the Saudi leadership’s vision of tourism 2030, and the steps initiated for modernizing the country. He also expressed his optimism that future phases of close cooperation and investment accords between the two countries would soon emerge. The president said Pakistan has been at the crossroads of development and the direction of its leadership to tackle the corruption and achieve development bore similarities with those of the Saudi leadership. He said the country has fought terrorism bravely and now entering into an era of prosperity. Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, in his address, thanked the leadership of Pakistan for warmly hosting them. He said the brotherly ties between the two countries were focused on principles of Muslim unity and brotherhood which was a role model for others to follow. “These ties have proved beneficial for the people of both countries. The founding fathers of the two brotherly countries established these ties on the basis of truthfulness and close affinities since establishment of Pakistan,” he said. The crown prince highlighted the contribution of Pakistani diaspora in the development of his country. He said the Pakistani brothers have participated in Saudi development through various mega uplift projects. Later, President Arif conferred Pakistan’s highest civil award ‘Nishan-e-Pakistan’ on Prince Salman. The country’s highest civil award was conferred on the crown prince in recognition of his efforts and contributions towards enhancing the bilateral brotherly and traditional ties between the two countries. An army band played tunes of various folk songs amidst applause from the crown prince and members of his delegation. President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan were also present during the army band show. Later, President Alvi saw off the royal dignitary at the main entrance of Aiwan-e-Sadr. Prime Minister Imran Khan drove the vehicle of the Saudi crown prince. Published in Daily Times, February 19th 2019.