Saudi Arabia pledges to provide $6b loan to Pakistan

Published: October 24, 2018 15:03:34 | Updated: October 27, 2018 13:45:36


Saudi Arabia has agreed to provide a financial assistance of $6 billion US dollar to pull Pakistan out of the economic quagmire, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

The deal was signed by Pakistan's Finance Minister Asad Umar and his Saudi counterpart, Muhammad Abdullah Al-Jadaan, on the sidelines of an international investment forum underway in the kingdom.

Many international business leaders and officials had pulled out of attending the gathering in the wake of the slaying of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Pakistan's new Prime Minister Imran Khan went to the conference despite rights activists' urging he boycott the venue over Khashoggi's killing, reports AP.

The ministry said the Saudi aid gives Pakistan an immediate $3 billion to bolster its foreign exchange reserves.

At the end of one year, it's to be returned to Saudi Arabia. Pakistan will also get $3 billion in oil imports on a buy-now-pay-later basis.

Separately from the Saudi influx, Pakistan is also seeking an IMF loan.

The Saudi crown prince is to make his first international speech since the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Mohammed bin Salman is to address the Future Investment Initiative summit in Riyadh on Wednesday afternoon.

The summit is the prince's brainchild, an effort to draw much-needed foreign direct investment into the kingdom to create jobs for its young population.

However, this year's summit has been overshadowed by the Oct. 2 killing of Khashoggi. Turkish officials say the writer was killed by a 15-man Saudi hit squad that included a member of Prince Mohammed's entourage on overseas trips.

Saudi Arabia has suggested, without offering evidence, that the team went rogue.

Many international business leaders have pulled out of attending the summit over Khashoggi's slaying.

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