Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will be on a two-day visit to Saudi Arabia on Monday, ARY News reported.
During his visit, Sharif would participate in the Saudi Investment Summit (SIS) and meet with Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman and King Salman bin Abdul Aziz. The visit is taking place at the invitation Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman's invitation, reported ARY News.
The media portal while quoting sources said that the Crown Prine MBS is also expected to visit Pakistan next month. The visit is taking place against the backdrop of the Organization of Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC+) decision to cut oil production.
Pakistan has reacted to the OPEC+ decision. The country expressed support for Saudi Arabia over its decision while on the other hand, it has irked the United States.
"We appreciate the concerns of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for avoiding market volatility and ensuring global economic stability," Pakistan's Foreign Office said in a statement.
"Pakistan encourages a constructive approach on such issues based on engagement and mutual respect," the statement added. "We reaffirm our long-standing, abiding and fraternal ties with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," it noted, reported ARY News.
OPEC+, the producer group comprising the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) plus allies including Russia, agreed to reduce two million barrels per day from November.
Pakistan has decided to side with Saudi Arabia as the kingdom continues to be at loggerheads with the United States over the cut in oil supply in the international market.
The White House said that US President Joe Biden will now work with Congress to 're-evaluate' the relationship with Saudi Arabia.
Earlier, in an interview with CNN, US National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby said Biden is "willing to work with Congress as we think about what the right relationship with Saudi Arabia needs to be going forward."
"I think the President's been very clear that this is a relationship that we need to continue to re-evaluate, that we need to be willing to revisit. And certainly, in light of the OPEC decision, I think that's where he is, and he's willing to work with Congress to think through what that relationship ought to look like going forward," he said.
Biden during his visit to Saudi Arabia in July had expressed optimism that Saudi Arabia would take steps to boost the global oil supply in the coming weeks, which had been viewed as a major goal of the trip given high domestic gas prices globally due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
However, OPEC's decision has now made the White House rethink its relationship with Saudi Arabia. OPEC's decision can be viewed in another light as well -- mid-term elections in US. Oil production cuts come on the heels of midterm elections and inflation will be the one thing on top of voters' minds.
Incidentally, Pakistan's decision to back Saudi comes days after Biden called Pakistan one of the most "dangerous" nations in the world.
( With inputs from ANI )
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