PM, army chief meet Saudi King

Visit comes in the context of Gulf crisis, says official statement

Our Correspondent June 13, 2017
PM Nawaz Sharif with Saudi Arabia's King Salman. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday arrived in Saudi Arabia on a one-day visit and met King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz in Jeddah as part of Islamabad’s efforts to help resolve the ongoing diplomat crisis in the Gulf.

A brief statement issued by the PM House prior to his departure said the visit was taking place “in [the] context of emergent situation in the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] countries.”

PM expected to fly to Qatar, Kuwait to help resolve Gulf crisis

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Adviser to PM on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz are also part of the delegation.

Upon his arrival in Jeddah, PM Sharif was received by Governor Makkah Prince Faisal Bin Abdul Aziz. Later, the premier and his delegation called on the Saudi king, who, according to the statement, was also to host “an iftar dinner in the honour of visiting delegation”.

Arab powers, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, on June 5 took the unprecedented decision to cut off their air, sea and land links to Qatar, accusing it of sponsoring terrorism in the Middle East.

Pakistan had expressed serious concerns over the growing tensions between Saudi Arabia and Qatar and on June 8, PM Sharif – during his visit to Kazakhstan – said Pakistan would do all it could to amicably resolve the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf.

“Since Pakistan enjoys good relations with Saudi Arabia, Iran and Qatar, we will try our best to resolve the differences among the Arab countries,” Sharif had said while speaking to journalists during a two-day meeting of the Heads of State Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).


Khalid Latif | 4 years ago | Reply It seems the PM Pakistan has stated assurance to Saudi govt, to protect "Saudi territorial integrity and sovereignty". At present, Saudi-Iranian military conflict can not be ruled out. In fact, the conflict already exists in Yemen. So, in an ascalated scenario, does PM Nawaz Sharif plan to fight against Iranian military, to protect Saudi territorial integrity and sovereignty? Or, is it not Saudi Arabia's own responsibility? Why has Pakistani PM taken that responsibility? Over the past decades, Pakistan's territorial integrity and sovereignty has, many times, been in granger. Had Saudi Arabia or any other Arab state/Kingdom ever uttered even a sentence to assure protection of Pakistan's territorial integrity and sovereignty? The matter of Mecca and Madina is different, although, protection of those, too, is Saudi responsibility first. Moreover, protection of Macca and Madina is, indeed, the responsibility of all Muslim nations, including Iran. PM Nawaz needs to be advised about how Pakistan's foreign policy is to be handled. Pakistan has no business fighting war on behalf of Saudi Arabia, particularly, against Iran.
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