Pakistan Point, Lahore
Published Date: Jan 16, 2019
Speakers at a seminar on ‘Contours of Saudi Arabia Foreign Policy’ Wednesday said neighbours could not be changed and they had to coexist by finding resolution of their issues through dialogue.
Addressing the seminar, held here under the auspices of Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) , former Saudi ambassador Dr Ali Awadh Asseri said the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) wanted to have peaceful ties with its neighbour Iran.
"The KSA does not want any conflict with its neighbouring country neither desires any opponent in the region as its 70 per cent youth want to flourish in the world. It also needs to boost economy and develop peaceful relationships with all of its neighbouring countries as it is in favour of regional stability and prosperity," he said.
Dr Asseri said the Kingdom had "unique, profound and durable" relationships with Pakistan since its creation. "The Kingdom welcomes every leadership the people of Pakistan elect as it has state to state strong ties which are now going to be transformed into people to people contact at the civil society level," he added.
He said after the 9/11 incident, Pakistan and the Muslim world faced a lot of violence and extremism. The Ulema and religious scholars had to come to the fore with the message that Muslims were not terrorists and islam as religion had nothing to do with extremism. "The endeavours of Ulema, media and general public will bear fruit and extremism will be eradicated," he said.
Dr Asseri said it was time for the Pakistan’s private sector to explore the conducive and competitive Saudi market and develop institutional links with their counterparts there, besides bilateral exchange of skilled manpower and highly qualified students.
Chairman, International Institute for Iranian Studies (RASANAH), Riyadh Dr Alsulami said the Saudi-Iran relationship remained tumultuous throughout the history; however, both the nations had cultural and political ties which could not be ignored. "If Iran moves one step forward then Saudi Arabia would take three steps ahead. Iran is our neighbouring country and Saudia has no choice other than to resolve all disputes for friendly neighbourhood whereas both sides have to take steps to build trust between them," he added.
He said Saudi Arab had no issue with the Shia Muslims and believed that faith and religion was the matter of the Almighty and His creation. "We can exist in unison without any violence which should be realized."SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, in his concluding remarks, said the seminar was one of the sessions organized by the Institute to know about the Saudi foreign policy and similarly, sessions would also hold on Iran’s foreign policy. In the developing global trends it was important to have information about the foreign policies of neighbouring countries whereas Pakistan always had a non-allied foreign policy, he added.