ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Friday that Saudi Arabia is Pakistan’s close friend and the government attaches great importance to its security and territorial integrity.
He said both Pakistan and Turkey had close relations with Saudi Arabia, agreeing to standby Riyadh in its hour of need.
“We have agreed to extend all possible support for the defence of Saudi Arabia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said Nawaz.
During a meeting held with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Ankara, the premier said Pakistan was seriously concerned about the deteriorating situation in Yemen.
“We must make all possible efforts to resolve this issue,” PM Nawaz said.
Davutoglu said Turkey was maintaining contacts with Saudi Arabia, saying both Pakistan and Turkey were ready to play their role for bringing stability in the region.
PHOTO COURTESY: ABDUL MANAN
Speaking about the stranded Pakistanis, the prime minister said the safety and security of the nationals in Yemen is Pakistan’s major priority. He confirmed that their safe evacuation is underway.
PHOTO COURTESY: ABDUL MANAN
PM Nawaz had arrived in Turkey early morning on a one-day trip to discuss the Yemen situation and decide on the kind of roles the two countries can play in resolving the developing situation in the Arabian peninsula.
Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz, Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatimi and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry accompanied the premier.
In his departure statement, he had said that Pakistan believes in finding a peaceful solution to the Yemen conflict in a bid to promote unity among Muslims.
The prime minister said he hoped that serious diplomatic efforts can help restore peace, security and harmony in the Middle East.
176 stranded Pakistanis arrived home
Stranded Pakistanis arrived in Islamabad from Yemen in a special flight on Friday afternoon, Express News reported.
Forty-five of the passengers reached Karachi later in the evening.
Speaking to the media at the Islamabad Airport, Defense Minister Khawaja Asif said that there are around 300-350 more stranded Pakistanis in Sanaa and Mukalla.
“If we are allowed to send a flight to them, we will definitely do so,” Asif said.
He further added that the integrity of Saudi Arabia will be protected at all costs and the government will do everything it can.
Further, Asif said that it is the prime minister’s commitment to bring all stranded Pakistanis back home.
Screengrab of stranded Pakistanis arriving home.
A day earlier, the 176 Pakistanis were taken to Djibouti through a Chinese ship.
On the advice of PM Nawaz, President Mamnoon Hussain has summoned a joint session of Parliament on April 6, Express News reported.
During the Parliament session, the Yemen situation will be discussed.