ISLAMABAD: Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa on Wednesday reaffirmed the importance of Islamabad`s defence ties with Riyadh.
`Pakistan holds its defence ties with Saudi Arabia in the highest esteem and also reasserts its unwavering commitment to the defence of Harmain Sharifain and safeguarding the territorial integrity of the Kingdom,` Gen Bajwa told the visiting Saudi deputy defence minister, Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Aysh, who called on him at the General Headquarters (GHQ).
The two, according to the InterServices Public Relations, discussed matters of bilateral interest and the broader regional security situation.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have historically had strong defence relations. The government has provided the services of former army chief retired Gen Raheel Sharif to Riyadh for leading a military alliance, which is still to take shape. Pakistan also maintains a nominal military presence in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia relies on Pakistan for many of its defence and security needs.
But of late Islamabad has been taking an independent position on issues in the Gulf and the Middle East,evident fromits neutralposition on the Saudi-Qatar spat and moves to strengthen relations withIran.
Gen Bajwa assured Mr Al Aysh `about the great importance Pakistan attaches to its strategic relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,` the ISPR noted.
The Saudi minister assured Pakistan of his country`s support on its position on regional issues and praised the country`s fight against terrorism and extremism.