PM in Riyadh to attend Davos in the Desert summit

Shehbaz condemns anti-army sloganeering at Lahore moot

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif landed in Riyadh on Monday for a two-day visit to Saudi Arabia to attend the Saudi Future Investment Initiative Summit, often referred to as ‘Davos in the Desert’, and hold consultations with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

PM Shehbaz was received by Riyadh Governor Prince Faisal Bin Bandar Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud at the airport. The premier was accompanied by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb and other officials.

Prior to his departure, a statement by the Foreign Office (FO) said PM Shehbaz’s official trip to Saudi capital Riyadh was scheduled following an invitation by Prince Salman, who was named the kingdom’s prime minister last month.

During his stay in Riyadh, PM Shehbaz would hold consultations with the Saudi crown prince to review the longstanding fraternal relations, with a view to further strengthening the multifaceted cooperation, especially in the economic field, the FO statement said.

Confirming his attendance at the summit, the PM tweeted: “The present state of the global economy needs new thinking and bold vision to overcome the irritants and forge new paths. “There are serious concerns about the threat of global recession hitting the economies. The pandemic and climate-induced disasters have already put immense strains on developing countries. High time the world explored solutions to the deepening challenges through candid dialogue.”

This year, the conference’s theme is “Investing in Humanity: Enabling a New Global Order”. The edition runs from Tuesday to Thursday with 6,000 delegates from different parts of the world participating, including top corporate executives of multinationals, policymakers, investors, entrepreneurs and young leaders.

Separately, the PM condemned the “unjustified sloganeering” against Pakistan army at the Asma Jahangir Conference held in Lahore, saying it was unfortunate that such forums were being used to target the institutions. The prime minister said that the coalition government and his party were firmly committed to ensuring the freedom of expression of every citizen as per the Constitution but regretted that the conference was used for partisan political interests.


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