A short statement issued by the military here said that Sharif left for Riyadh at the invitation of the Saudi authorities.

"During the visit, COAS (Chief of Army Staff) will call on senior political and military leadership. The interaction will encompass Pak-Saudi relations with particular emphasis on defence and security cooperation," the statement said.

Gen Sharif was seen off at Nur Khan Air Base by senior military officials.

Bilateral ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have historically been close and friendly, with top leaders of the two Islamic states enjoying a special relationship.

(Agencies)

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