Pakistan, Saudi Arabia vow to further expand multidimensional partnership

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have expressed the determination to further strengthen their multidimensional partnership with chief focus on trade, investment, development and people-to-people ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

This was the outcome of a meeting between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman in Sharm al Sheikh, Egypt, on the sidelines of Climate Implementation Summit.

Alluding to their recent meeting in Riyadh, the Prime Minister and the Crown Prince expressed satisfaction over the growing high-level contacts.

The Prime Minister reiterated that Pakistan attaches great importance to its fraternal ties with Saudi Arabia which are deeply rooted in common faith, culture, values and an eternal tradition of mutual support. He said the people of Pakistan have great respect for the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, and love for the people of Saudi Arabia.

The Prime Minister also appreciated the hospitality and cooperation of Saudi Arabia for the two million Pakistanis working in the Kingdom who, he said, are contributing to the development, prosperity and economic progress of the two brotherly countries.

Shehbaz Sharif said we look forward to the upcoming visit of the Crown Prince to Pakistan, expressing the confidence that this will help further deepen bilateral cooperation in all areas of mutual interest. He particularly emphasized the importance of increasing trade, investment, development and people-to-people ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Appreciating Saudi Arabia’s assistance to the flood-affected people of Pakistan, the Prime Minister said that Pakistan is one of the countries which are most affected by climate change.

The Prime Minister hoped that COP 27 would yield concrete results in terms of focussing on providing financial assistance to the developing countries faced with environmental damage and loss.

Shehbaz Sharif  appreciated the Crown Prince’s  “Middle East Green Initiative” and assured the Saudi leadership of Pakistan’s full support.

Round-table event

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif says Early Warning System has become imperative for underdeveloped and climate-affected countries for adaptation and resilience planning.

Speaking at a roundtable at the launch of the executive plans for early warning system, in Sharm Al Sheikh, he said the system works as an important communication tool to inform people living in the far-flung areas about the natural disasters in advance.

The Prime Minister said use of advanced technology and the early warning chain will help improve the four elements of disaster risk awareness, risk detection, prevention and preparedness.

Referring to the benefits of the early warning system in Pakistan, he said due to this system thousands of lives were saved from the glacial lake outburst flood, caused by prolonged heat wave in the country this summer.

Pakistan offers technical expertise to Mideast Green Initiative member states

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday said Pakistan was fully committed to the objectives of the Middle East Green Initiative (MGI) and offered assistance to the member countries in sharing technical expertise on forest restoration in drylands.

Addressing the Middle East Green Initiative (MGI) Summit 2022 Sharm al Sheikh at the Conference of Parties (COP27) platform, the prime minister termed MGI one big step in the right direction to save the planet from the disasters of climate change.

With the first MGI summit hosted by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince in 2021 in Riyadh, the initiative amplifies the Kingdom’s coordination and knowledge transfer with regional and international partners to achieve a reduction in carbon emissions and deliver the largest reforestation programme in the world.

Lauding Saudi Arabia for driving the Initiative, Shehbaz Sharif said Pakistan had already extended cooperation through the exchange of knowledge and provision of experts.

As a further step, he said, Pakistan was willing to provide assistance to all MGI member countries in sharing experiences and technical expertise on forest restoration in dryland areas and mangroves, management of protected areas, carbon stock assessment and establishment of forest monitoring systems.

He expressed gratitude to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi for organizing the significant summit.

He said Pakistan valued the pioneering vision of the Saudi crown prince for undertaking the MGI, the first ecosystem restoration initiative of its kind in the Middle East region.

Nature-based solutions, he mentioned, are at the heart of Pakistan’s ambitious climate action agenda under the Convention and the Paris Agreement.

The prime minister emphasized that nature-based initiatives, like afforestation, helped countries build adaptive capacities, sequester greenhouse gas emissions, as well as avert and minimized damage due to climate change at national and regional levels.

He pointed out that Pakistan and many other member countries included in the Middle East Green Initiative were facing accelerated ecological imbalances induced due to climate change effects.

He mentioned, in this regard, a cascade of extreme catastrophes in the form of unprecedented rains, devastating floods, prolonged heat waves, relentless forest fires, glacial lake outburst floods and many such climate-induced devastations.

Shehbaz Sharif said Pakistan fully endorsed the guiding principles of a shared vision of sustainable futures, effective collaboration, regional and international linkages, innovation-driven actions and science-based decision-making.

He expressed confidence that it would go a long way in making this initiative a life-changing success for the member states and their vulnerable populations.

The prime minister mentioned that the objectives of the MGI were aligned with the objectives of Pakistan’s National Forest Policy and the Green Pakistan Programme aimed at protecting the country’s forests, wildlife and ecosystems by 2030.

He highlighted the Green Pakistan Programme, launched in 2016, as the flagship national forestation initiative ongoing with an enhanced target of planting 3.3 billion trees by 2023 and tripling it by 2030.

The programme, he said, had brought exemplary gains in terms of enhancing forest cover and conserving biodiversity, while also provisioning thousands of green jobs for local communities.

Shehbaz Sharif mentioned that Pakistan’s Protected Areas Initiative had increased 3.6 million hectares of protected areas for safeguarding the country’s threatened flora and fauna.

PM calls for more support for rehabilitation of flood victims

Shehbaz Sharif has said that during his interaction with the world leaders on the sidelines of Climate Implementation Summit in Sharm Al Sheikh, he explained the challenges of the post-flood reconstruction in Pakistan.

In a tweet, he said he also threw light on government’s efforts and highlighted the urgent need for continued international support for rehabilitation of flood victims.