Saudi Arabia rejects reports it pressurised Pakistan from attending KL Summit

Says brotherly relations between the countries are long-standing based on trust, understanding and mutual respect


Aamir Ilyas Rana December 21, 2019
PM Imran meets Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh. PHOTO: PID/ FILE

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia on Saturday rejected reports that it pressured Pakistan to shun the Kuala Lumpur Summit.

The Saudi embassy in Islamabad released its statement a day after Turkish media quoted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying Pakistan had decided to stay away from the recently concluded summit because of Saudi Arabia's threats of economic sanctions.

Pakistan pulls out of KL summit to maintain 'neutrality'

“The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Pakistan denied the information and fake news broadcasted by some media channels, claiming that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia pressurised and threatened Pakistan to refrain from participating in the Kuala Lumpur Summit,” read the Saudi statement.

“The embassy affirms that the relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and [the] Islamic Republic of Pakistan are superior to the language of threat. The brotherly relations between the countries are long-standing and strategic based on trust, understanding and mutual respect, and the two countries enjoy a consensus of views on most regional and international issues, especially the issues of the Islamic nation.”

Press released issued by the Saudi embassy in Islamabad. PHOTO: EXPRESS Press release issued by the Saudi embassy in Islamabad. PHOTO: EXPRESS

It added, “The embassy also confirms that the Kingdom has always stood with Pakistan in difficult times based on fraternal relations, and we strive always to stand with Pakistan to be a successful and stable country.”

A press release issued by the Saudi embassy stated, “The Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan confirms that the news promoted by some parties about alleged pressures exerted on Pakistan by the Kingdom to discourage it from participating in the mini-summit held in Malaysia are baseless and fake, and stresses that these false reports are already denied by the nature of solid brotherly relations between the two brotherly countries, and their agreement on the importance of the unity of the Islamic nation, maintaining the role of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), mutual respect for their sovereignty and the independence of their decisions, which is a key feature of the well-established historical relations between them.”

Kuala Lumpur Summit

The Kuala Lumpur Summit which has been boycotted by Saudi Arabia will end on Saturday.

Mahathir said the summit was aimed at understanding why Islam, Muslims and their countries were “in a state of crisis, helpless and unworthy of this great religion”.

Meanwhile, the Saudi-based Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said on December 18 it was against the interests of the Muslim world to hold meetings outside the organisation, which has for decades acted as the collective Islamic voice.

Saudis pressure forced Pakistan to skip KL summit: Erdogan

Differences took a new turn when Erdogan told Turkish media representatives in the Malaysian capital before returning to the country that he wanted both Pakistan and Indonesia to be present in the Malaysian capital but Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) affected their absence.

“There are 4-million Pakistanis working in Saudi Arabia. They (threaten by saying that they) would send (Pakistanis) back and re-employ Bangladeshi people instead,” Turkey’s Sabah daily quoted Erdogan as saying.

“The kingdom has also used similar threatening tactics regarding the central bank case by claiming that they would withdraw their money,” he said, adding that due to its economic difficulties, Pakistan had to “obey such threats”.

However, Pakistan also rejected Erdogan’s claims and issues a statement that “Pakistan did not participate in the KL Summit as time and efforts were needed to address the concerns of major Muslim countries regarding possible division in the Ummah.”

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