Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said Pakistan would stand by Saudi Arabia if any threat arises to its territorial integrity.
According to Radio Pakistan, in his meeting with Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince and defence minister, Mohammed bin Salman, the prime minister exchanged views on bilateral relations and regional situation.
The defence minister arrived in Islamabad on Sunday to discuss Pakistan’s cooperation in the 34-nation anti-terror coalition of Islamic countries the KSA has recently formed.
His visit came just four days after the kingdom's Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir travelled to Islamabad and held wide ranging talks with Pakistan’s civil and military leaders, including the prime minister and army chief.
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Meanwhile, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif reasserted on Sunday that any threat to Saudi Arabia’s territorial integrity would be answered by a strong response, the ISPR said.
“Pakistan holds its defence ties with the kingdom in highest esteem, re-asserting that any threat to Saudi Arabia’s territorial integrity would evoke a strong response from Pakistan,” General Raheel said.
The Saudi deputy crown prince called on the army chief at the General Headquarters of the Pakistan Army in Rawalpindi and discussed matters related to regional security and defence cooperation during the meeting.
According to a statement issued by the military’s media wing, the army chief said, "Pakistan enjoys close and brotherly relations with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and attaches great importance to their security."
The Saudi defence minister lauded the successes of the Pakistan Armed Forces in fight against terrorism and efforts for regional stability besides ensuring the kingdom’s full support to Pakistan’s position on all matters.
Earlier, a government official told The Express Tribune that the Saudi defence minister is coming to discuss the ‘finer details’ of the coalition.
“We welcome the Saudi initiative in line with our policy to support all regional and international efforts to counter terrorism and extremism,” the official added.
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The official made it clear Pakistan will not become part of any action that will be against any specific country.
“We support a political solution to the Syrian problem without interference from the outside,” the official maintained.
Asked whether Pakistan would spare troops for the coalition, the official said details were being worked out. However, Pakistan’s role would remain restricted to intelligence sharing, counter-terrorism training and other activities in the coalition, the official said.
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