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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s President Dr. Arif Alvi conferred the prestigious Nishan-e-Imtiaz (Order of Excellence) military award on the Saudi Army Chief on Tuesday.

The award is a state-organized civilian honor which recognizes achievements for Pakistan or an outstanding service for one’s own country. It is not limited to citizens of Pakistan and, while it is a civilian award, it can also be awarded to military personnel.

General Fayiadh bin Hamed bin Ragad Al-Rowaily was conferred with the award at a special ceremony – held at the President House in Islamabad on Tuesday – which was attended by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, and other senior officials.

Later, General Al-Rowaily held a meeting with the president where the two discussed matters of mutual interest. “Pakistan attaches great importance to its unique and brotherly relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which are based on mutual trust and wishes to expand cooperation in all fields,” a statement released by the President Office read.

President Alvi expressed satisfaction at the close defense and cooperation ties between the two countries, adding that it had scope for more growth particularly in the field of defense production.

“He also highlighted the ever-accelerating trade and investment relations between both the countries,” the statement read, adding that the president underlined the importance of Pakistani expatriates who were making tremendous contributions to the progress and development of Saudi Arabia. “They can play an important role in the implementation of Vision 2030 projects,” an excerpt from the statement read.

General Al-Rowaily thanked the president and the Government of Pakistan for the honor and said that he “hoped that the bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries would further grow in the future,” the statement added.

The Saudi Army Chief also co-chaired the fifth round of Pak-KSA JMCC meeting with Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat on Tuesday. Among other things, the meeting focused on regional security situation, bilateral military engagements, and training cooperation between the two countries.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy deep-rooted defense ties, with the armed forces of both the countries conducting joint exercises in Pakistan and the Kingdom on a regular basis.

Both the nations enjoy multi-faceted cooperation at various levels, too. Recently, Islamabad and Riyadh agreed to further enhance the existing cooperation in diverse fields.

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