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Saudi delegation in Pakistan for talks days after invite to join CPEC

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Press Trust of India Islamabad
A high-level delegation from Saudi Arabia arrived in Pakistan on Sunday for talks during which five MoUs including the one on selling petroleum products on deferred payments are expected to be signed, weeks after Islamabad invited Riyadh to join the USD 50 billion CPEC as the third "strategic partner".
The visit of the delegation comprising petroleum and energy ministers takes place almost 10 days after Prime Minister Imran Khan returned from his first foreign trip to the cash-rich kingdom.
The delegation is expected to sign five important Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with the government and hold discussions during its six-day visit to Pakistan, Geo news reported.
Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan will arrive in a couple of days, according to sources.
Finance Minister Asad Umar, Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan will be part of the team that will hold talks with the Saudi delegation, sources said.
The prospect of setting up oil refineries in the strategic Gwadar port is likely to be discussed by the delegation, the report said.
According to sources, the Saudi officials are expected to sign an agreement to sell petroleum products to Pakistan on deferred payments.
The delegation will also sign an MoU to make investments in the Balochistan Reko Diq gold and copper mines, sources said.
Further, agreements to privatise two Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) power plants and sale of phosphate-containing fertilisers to Pakistan are also expected to be signed by the delegation, the report said.
The Saudi delegation will also visit the Gwadar port and Reko Diq project, sources further said.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia recently signed "three grant agreements" to bring major investment in the country.
On September 20, Minister of Information Fawad Chaudhry announced that Saudi Arabia will be the third "strategic partner" of the USD 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The CPEC is the flagship project of the multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a pet project of Chinese President Xi Jinping, aimed at enhancing Beijing's influence around the world through China-funded infrastructure projects.

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First Published: Sep 30 2018 | 7:15 PM IST

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