Tuesday Dec 17, 2019
MANAMA: Bahrain's King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa conferred the country's highest civil award, The King Hamad Order of Bahrain, on Prime Minister Imran Khan, according to a joint press statement issued Monday here in the capital.
The king honoured PM Imran with the Bahrain Order — First Class "in recognition of his remarkable leadership, outstanding achievements and contribution to further strengthening relations between the two countries", the statement read.
The PM had arrived in Bahrain earlier in the day on the invitation of King Hamad Bin Isa to attend the national day of Bahrain as its guest of honour.
The two countries signed three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs), including on Education, Higher Education, and Scientific Research, Medical Sciences, and Cooperation in Youth Affairs and Sports.
"The two sides welcomed the recent signing of an Agreement on Military Cooperation, which will further increase the sharing of information, intelligence and assessments," the statement added.
The Bahraini king received PM Imran at Sakhir Palace and the two held a one-on-one meeting, wherein they exchanged thoughts on bolstering bilateral relations.
PM Imran also held talks with Bahrain Crown Prince Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, deputy supreme commander, and first deputy prime minister at Gudaibya Palace. The prince also hosted a banquet in the PM's honour.
King Hamad "expressed appreciation for the contribution made by the Pakistani expatriate community towards Bahrain's progress and economic development".
To which, PM Imran "conveyed his deep appreciation to the Kingdom of Bahrain for hosting a large number of Pakistani citizens and expressed hope that Bahrain will continue to employ more Pakistanis across various sectors of the economy".
According to the statement, the two leaders "exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest, including the security situation in West Asia and South Asia.
"Both sides reiterated the importance of striving towards peaceful resolutions of all disputes, in light of international legitimacy and relevant UN Security Council resolutions," it added.
Early Monday, the premier had arrived to a warm welcome at the airport and was received by Bahrain's crown prince.
The meeting between the leaders would cover the entire gamut of bilateral relations and matters pertaining to regional and international issues, the statement added.
The visit to Bahrain will be the first stop of prime minister's three-country tour starting from December 15. He will later travel to Geneva to attend a conference on refugees followed by a tour to Malaysia.
A statement from the Foreign Office had earlier said the PM, on the visit, will be accompanied by a high-level delegation including members of the cabinet and senior government officials. This will be PM Imran’s first visit to Bahrain since assuming office in August last year.
The prime minister’s visit to Bahrain will enable the two sides to explore ways and means to further deepen bilateral trade and investments ties. The visit is of special significance and will impart a strong impetus to both sides’ endeavours to forge a closer, multifaceted bilateral relationship.
On Saturday, the prime minister travelled to Saudi Arabia for a day-long visit where he met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and called for resolving the Middle East disputes and differences through diplomatic means.
The prime minister said he would continue to facilitate all efforts in that direction with a view to precluding conflict, defusing tensions and preserving peace for the benefit of the region and the world.
During his meeting with the Saudi crown prince in Riyadh, the premier emphasized upon the strategic importance of Pakistan-Saudi relationship and termed it a pivotal partnership for peace, progress and prosperity.
He extended warm felicitations on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's assumption of G20 presidency and said it was a reflection of Saudi Arabia's leadership role and stature in the international community.
COVER IMAGE: Twitter/Prime Minister's Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO)/via Geo.tv