(MENAFN - Arab News) British Prime Minister David Cameron held talks here yesterday with Defense Minister Prince Salman and discussed issues of mutual concern and ways of strengthening bilateral ties.
The meeting at No. 10 Downing Street was attended by British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond, Saudi Ambassador to UK Prince Muhammad bin Nawaf and State Minister Musaed Al-Aiban.
Prince Salman arrived here yesterday at the start of a several-day official visit to the United Kingdom at the invitation of his British counterpart Philip Hammond.
Prince Salman was seen off at Riyadh Air Base by Riyadh Gov. Prince Sattam, Prince Turki Al-Faisal, Deputy Defense Minister Khaled bin Sultan and Prince Sultan bin Salman, chairman of Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities.
Other officials who were present at the airport were Chief of Staff Gen. Hussein Al-Qubail, his deputy Gen. Abdul Aziz Al-Hussein as well as commanders of land, naval and air forces.
Before leaving Riyadh, Prince Salman met with Pakistan Army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and discussed prospects of expanding cooperation and other issues of mutual concern, the Saudi Press Agency said.
The meeting was attended by Prince Khaled bin Sultan, Al-Aiban and Gen. Al-Qubail.
Saudi Arabia and Pakistan pledged to enhance strategic relations in defense sector here yesterday. This was announced following the talks between Prince Salman and Kayani.
The talks focused on a range of subjects of common interests especially in the areas of military cooperation and joint military exercises. Both sides reiterated that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have a "unique" relationship that is "long-lasting and time-tested," said Pakistan Ambassador Muhammed Naeem Khan after the talks.
The Saudi-Pakistani ties are "unmatched with the strongest bonds," added Khan.
He said that "the two sides had vowed to enhance strategic relations and have agreed to increase joint exercises between the armed forces. In fact, detailed talks covered various aspects of combat capabilities as well, he noted.
Kayani expressed his gratitude to the Saudi government and people for the "exemplary support extended to Pakistan at all times."
Khan said that the meeting with Prince Salman, which was also attended by Brigadier Hassan Jalil, also focused on new plans and policies.
Recently, a major Pak-Saudi exercise to help prepare troops for counter terrorism operations was organized in Pakistan, said the envoy.
Kiyani also called on Deputy Interior Minister Prince Mohammad bin Naif. Cooperation to counter terrorism and extremism figured at the talks.
- with input from Ghazanfar Ali Khan