By Associated Press - Friday, May 7, 2021

ISLAMABAD (AP) - Pakistan’s prime minister was preparing to leave for a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia on Friday to boost economic ties, the foreign ministry said.

The two countries are expected to sign new agreements to bolster trade and economic links during Imran Khan’s visit, which comes at the invitation of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Saudi Arabia gave $6 billion to Pakistan in 2018 when Khan’s government came into power in 2018, but bilateral relations have since witnessed ups and downs. The two countries have a longer history of cooperation, and the kingdom is Pakistan’s main supplier of oil.

During his stay there, apart from meeting with Saudi leadership, Khan will also interact with Pakistanis working in Saudi Arabia. Khan’s visit comes days after he recalled Pakistan’s ambassador following complaints by expat Pakistani laborers working in the kingdom who said their own embassy mistreated them.

Currently, Pakistan’s army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa is also visiting Saudi Arabia.

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