Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed on Tuesday Pakistan's keenness to work closely with Middle Eastern countries to secure the planet against the impacts of climate change during the 27th session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt.
He was appreciative of the Saudi crown prince for undertaking the landmark 'Middle East Green Initiative' saying it is a big step in the right direction for human survival, regional rejuvenation and seed a much needed hope for a world looking for a greener and more bio-diverse future.
PM Shehbaz said that Pakistan was "fully committed" to the broader objective of the initiative and looks forward to working in close collaboration with the Middle East states for the restoration of forests in dry land areas, management of protected areas, carbon stock assessment and establishment of a forest monitoring system. He said nature based solutions are also at the heart of Pakistan's ambitious climate action agenda.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addresses ‘Middle East Green Initiative Summit’ Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. #COP27 #PMPakCOP27 #APPNews https://t.co/qztBNa9I5d
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The premier pointed out that the objectives of Middle East Green Initiative are aligned with those of Pakistan's forest policy and the Green Pakistan Program which is focused on protecting, enhancing and managing forests, wildlife and ecosystem by 2030.
He said Pakistan has already extended full cooperation through the exchange of knowledge and provision of experts for the Saudi Green initiative.
PM Shehbaz and Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman had a meeting on the sidelines of Climate Implementation Summit where they expressed determination to further strengthen their multidimensional partnership.
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Alluding to their recent meeting in Riyadh, Shehbaz and the crown prince expressed satisfaction over the growing high level contacts between the two countries.
The prime minister reiterated that Pakistan attaches great importance to its fraternal ties with Saudi Arabia, which are deeply rooted in common faith, culture, values and an eternal tradition of mutual support.
He said the people of Pakistan have "great respect" for the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, and love for the people of Saudi Arabia.
The premier also appreciated the hospitality and cooperation of Saudi Arabia for the two million Pakistanis working in the Kingdom who, he said, are contributing to the development, prosperity and economic progress of the two brotherly countries.
He said that Pakistan looks forward to the upcoming visit of the crown prince, expressing confidence that this will help further deepen bilateral cooperation in all areas of mutual interest. He particularly emphasized the importance of increasing trade, investment, development and people-to-people ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
Appreciating Saudi Arabia's assistance to the flood-affected people of Pakistan, Shehbaz said that Pakistan was one of the countries that has been most affected by climate change.
He shared his hopes that COP27 would yield concrete results in terms of focusing on providing financial assistance to the developing countries facing environmental damage and loss.
Shehbaz appreciated and assured the Saudi leadership of Pakistan's full support in the Crown Prince's Middle East Green Initiative.