ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Monday on a one-day visit to help resolve the Gulf crisis.
Accompanied by army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz and other senior officials, he was received by Governor Makkah Prince Fysal bin Abdul Aziz.
Arab powers, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, took the unprecedented decision to cut off their air, sea and land links to Qatar on June 5, accusing Doha of sponsoring terrorism in the Middle East.
Qatar strongly rejects the allegations and says it is open to talks on ending the dispute, which also saw the three Gulf states order all Qataris out of their countries within 14 days.
According to a statement, the PM is visiting the Kingdom “in context of the emergent situation among GCC countries”.
During his visit, the prime minister is expected to hold talks with the Saudi leadership on the latest situation developing among the GCC countries, according to Radio Pakistan.
The PM has said Pakistan will do all it can to amicably resolve the diplomatic crisis in the Arabian Gulf and is also expected to fly to Qatar and Kuwait in this connection.
The brewing crisis in the Gulf has put Pakistan in an awkward situation.
Islamabad enjoys close ties both with Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Besides strong political ties, Pakistan has close economic cooperation with Gulf countries that are home to millions of Pakistanis who significantly contribute to the country’s economy in the form of foreign remittances.
On Sunday, Pakistan denied reports that it is deploying troops in Qatar. A statement issued by the Foreign Office termed the reports appearing in some foreign media outlets about the deployment of Pakistani troops in Qatar as “completely fabricated and baseless”.
Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria stressed that “these false reports appear to be part of a malicious campaign aimed at creating misunderstanding between Pakistan and brotherly Muslim countries in the Gulf.”