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Riyadh: Saudi Arabia, its closest Muslim friend, has now refrained from giving free loans to poor Pakistan. Not only this, Saudi Arabia also wants Pakistan to accept the conditions of the IMF. Till now Pakistan has taken loan from Saudi Arabia dozens of times but now for the first time it has got disappointed. While friend Saudi Arabia has distanced itself from Pakistan, which is repeatedly begging for loans, Riyadh welcomed India with open arms on Monday. The occasion was the meeting of the India-Gulf Cooperation Council in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. It is being told that after this meeting, the way for a free trade agreement can be cleared soon.

The meeting in Riyadh between India and the Gulf countries expressed happiness over the progress made in the direction of trade and investment. In this meeting, it was agreed to finalize the Free Trade Agreement between India and the Gulf countries at the earliest. During this, India called for increasing cooperation in energy, food security, health, IT sector and counter-terrorism. Both sides agreed to form a Joint Working Group to work in specific areas. The six major Gulf countries under GCC are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
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Many GCC countries are rich in oil and they are strengthening their relationship with India to diversify their economy. All 6 GCC countries participated in this meeting along with India. GCC countries are also important for India because 8.5 million Indians work in these countries and they send foreign exchange worth billions of dollars to India every year. There was a trade of $ 154 billion between India and the Gulf countries in the year 2021-22. UAE and Saudi Arabia are investing billions of dollars in India.

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While talking about Pakistan, Saudi Arabia has clearly said that it will no longer give money for free. Pakistan will have to pay interest or give a share of its property. Saudi Arabia has been giving oil to Pakistan as a long-term loan for a long time. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who is repeatedly asking for loans, had accepted this begging habit of Pakistan in a conference last year. Shahbaz had said that when he calls the President of a friendly country, he thinks that he has called to ask for money.

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