Imran Khan met with Saudi Arabia's King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during his day-long tour to the Kingdom, in a bid to defuse the tensions in the Middle East. Imran Khan's visit comes two days after his visit to Iran, an arch-foe of Saudi Arabia.
"During the meeting, they discussed close relations between the two countries, aspects of bilateral cooperation and the latest developments at the regional and international arena," Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia said in a statement on Twitter about the meeting between Imran Khan and the Saudi Crown Prince.
Imran Khan was accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, on his third visit to Saudi Arabia in 2019, after visiting the kingdom in May and September this year. From the Saudi side, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman paid a state visit to Pakistan in February 2019.
As per reports, Mohammed bin Salman had ordered his 'private jet to disembark the Pakistani delegation' after Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince was left "alienated" with "some dimensions" of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's diplomacy at the UN General Assembly in New York.
A senior Pakistani journalist Najam Sethi said, "There were some unintended consequences of the trip too. Inexplicably, the Saudi crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, was so alienated by some dimensions of the Pakistani prime minister’s diplomacy in New York – he couldn’t have been happy at the prospect of Imran Khan, Recip Tayyib Erdogan and Mahathir Mohammad planning to jointly represent the Islamic bloc, nor with Pakistan’s interlocution with Iran without his explicit approval — that he visibly snubbed Imran by ordering his private jet to disembowel the Pakistani delegation. Significantly, too, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, lost her job (did Khan’s cronies have anything to do with it?) before the dust of “victory at the UN” had settled.”
However, the claims were disdained by the Pakistan government saying, "This is a cooked story. Pakistan and Saudi Arab leaders have good relations. There is an attempt to weaken the successful talks between the world leaders and the Prime Minister (Imran Khan). Conclusion over the Prime Minister's meeting with Turkey and Malaysia leader was self-made. The report was aimed to strike on the relations of two countries for political motives. We dismiss this report."
(With agency inputs)