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Saudi strategy includes alliance with Pakistan

Saudi Arabia considers Pakistan a pivotal ally, both to contain Iran and to further Riyadh’s leadership bid in the Arab world.
Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud al-Faisal bin Abdulaziz al-Saud speaks during a news conference with Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan's prime minister Nawaz Sharif's adviser on foreign affairs, at Foreign Ministry in Islamabad January 7, 2014.  REUTERS/Mian Khursheed (PAKISTAN - Tags: POLITICS ROYALS) - RTX1753R
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During his Jan. 6 visit to Pakistan, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal celebrated the "deep-rooted historic relations between the two Islamic countries" and promised regular consultation meetings on regional and international issues of mutual concern. The promise of Saudi investment, together with remittances of around 1.5 million Pakistani workers in Saudi Arabia are much needed in Pakistan.

Saudi Arabia thinks its domination in the Arab world may benefit from close partnership and consultation with Pakistan. Some observers may think that Saudi's intention to establish a Riyadh-based Gulf military force for the sole purpose of containing Iran may be the main reason for Faisal’s visit to Islamabad. But this is not the only reason. Pakistani military assistance is not new in Saudi Arabia or the rest of the Gulf. It may be reliable, subservient, less controversial and cheaper than assistance from other sources. Above all, it is purely contractual and lacks the political strings that are often attached to military assistance. 

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