MBS, Khan Say Hello, Discuss Green White and Green

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The “good news” according to one Pak-Saudi observer comes as “things are moving fast in the background,” says a defense and security expert in Islamabad. According to him, “Pak-India Foreign Minister level meeting is expected on the sidelines of Heart of Asia Conference tomorrow (Tuesday) in Tajikistan.”

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz (aka MBS) on Monday made a phone call to Prime Minister Imran Khan and wished him speedy recovery. Khan thanked the Crown Prince for his good feelings and congratulated MBS on launching the “Saudi Green and Middle East Green” initiatives, praising their great impact on the region and its peoples.

“Am delighted to learn of “Green Saudi Arabia” & “Green Middle East” initiatives by my brother, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman! Have offered our support on these as there are many complementarities with our “Clean & Green Pakistan” & “10 Billion-Tree Tsunami,” Khan tweeted with his letter to MBS.

Khan offered to share Pakistan’s knowledge and experience in climate change initiatives –he also appreciated resumption of relations with Qatar and Saudi efforts to bring peace in Yemen.

Saudi newspaper Arab News quoted a government source in Islamabad saying it was a “breakthrough” first conversation between the two leaders in at least 15 months.

“Saudis love for Pakistan and Pakistanis love for Saudi Arabia is a fact of life due to the special relationship nurtured by the leadership of both the countries over the years”, said Dr. Abdul Aziz Majed.

According to the Saudi scholar, “When His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan to be reassured on his health and wishing him a speedy recovery, it was a reflection of the deep rooted and friendly relationship between the two countries. When the Saudi green initiatives were recognized and praised by the Prime Minister for their great impact on the region and its peoples, it is a statement conveying his foresight and wisdom.”

Khan was the first in the region to launch green initiative in Pakistan with his “Billion Tree Tsunami”.

“The PM offered Pakistan support on these initiatives as there are many complementaries with Pakistan’s “Clean & Green Pakistan”, the Saudi scholar acknowledged. “It is therefore expected that collaboration between the two countries will be at a high level to achieve the goals of the green initiatives, for the good of the two nations,” he added.

Dr. Majed was one of the key members of the “Green White & Green” delegation –comprising Saudi and Pakistani entrepreneurs in the Kingdom, which had participated in the Expo 2014 in Karachi.

The “good news” according to one Pak-Saudi observer comes as “things are moving fast in the background,” says a defense and security expert in Islamabad. According to him, “Pak-India Foreign Minister level meeting is expected on the sidelines of Heart of Asia Conference tomorrow (Tuesday) in Tajikistan.”

“The atmospheric is changing”, said Pakistani foreign affairs observer Mr. G R Baloch. In his view, “most likely it has to do with Pak-India reconciliation efforts.”

An Islamabad-based security analyst tells DesPardes “It was (just) a courtesy call to check on PM Khan’s health. Should not read too much into it.”

A Pakistani defense and security analyst with several years of stint in Riyadh took a different view –said “MBS (is) feeling the heat.”

Pakistan’s new ambassador to the Kingdom, a former high-ranking military brass, is expected to land in Riyadh in summer, as the two traditional friends re-calibrate and tango their working relations amid changing dynamics in South Asia and the Middle East region. (A Brass Tack New Pakistani Envoy to Riyadh)

“It takes two to tango and a caravan to cross the desert,” said a Pak-Saudi and South Asia observer.