Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to Discuss Extending $3 Billion Deposit Term | News

Saudi Arabia will discuss the option to extend the terms of its $3 billion deposit with Pakistan’s central bank, according to a joint statement.

Saudi Arabia will discuss the option to extend the terms of its $3 billion deposit with Pakistan’s central bank to help Islamabad’s faltering economy, according to a joint statement.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has provided Pakistan with $4.2 billion in support in the form of a $3 billion loan deposited with the central bank, as well as $1.2 billion in deferred oil payments to boost its reserves. foreign. The country’s cash-strapped foreign exchange reserves fell below $11 billion last month.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia affirmed its continued support for Pakistan and its economy, including the discussion of increasing the deposit of US$3 billion with the central bank through term extension or otherwise,” he said. a joint statement issued on Sunday, he said.

The latest sign of support follows a visit to Saudi Arabia by Pakistan’s new prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif, who has inherited a crippling national debt, rampant inflation and a weak rupee.

Saudi Arabia also pledged to “further increase funding for petroleum products” at a time when the South Asian country suffers from frequent power cuts.

The Gulf nation has been a regular source of financial relief for successive governments.

“Pakistan deeply values ​​the Kingdom’s continued support for Pakistan,” tweeted Sharif, adding that the joint statement “heralds in a new era of close cooperation” between “our two sister countries”.

‘Technical level conversations’

The statement follows recent talks between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) about releasing funds from a $6 billion aid program that had stalled over concerns over the pace of reforms.

“The little financial help we can get from any country would help us, given the condition of our economy,” Kaiser Bengali, a veteran economist, told AFP.

“But how long are we going to run our economy with loans? This policy will not work even for the next five years.”

Pakistani Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, who remained in Saudi Arabia for “technical level talks”, is due to return to Pakistan on Sunday night.

Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif also met with the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Hissein Ibrahim Taha, during his visit. A number of issues facing the Islamic world were on the agenda, including the situations in Palestine, Afghanistan and Indian-administered Kashmir.

Sharif also traveled to the United Arab Emirates, where he spoke with Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Sharif was elected prime minister of Pakistan on 11 April, succeeding Imran Khan, who was ousted in a vote of no confidence by parliament.

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