Saudi-Iran Spat: PM Nawaz, Gen Raheel Sharif leave for Riyadh

07:10 PM | 17 Jan, 2016
Saudi-Iran Spat: PM Nawaz, Gen Raheel Sharif leave for Riyadh
ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif Monday left for Saudi Arabia on a day-long visit to discuss Riyadh's tensions with Tehran.

A high level delegation is also accompanying the prime minister. After Riyadh Nawaz Sharif and Raheel Sharif will head to Tehran.

According to a statement issued by Foreign Office on Sunday, Nawaz is visiting Riyadh and Tehran in a bid to mend ties between the archrivals after the Saudi execution of a prominent Shiite cleric led to mob attacks on the kingdom’s diplomatic posts in Iran.

The statement said Pakistan has deep rooted and brotherly relations with both Saudi Arabia and Iran and it is concerned over ongoing tension between the two Muslim countries. It said Pakistan wants to defuse tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran in a peaceful manner. The statement further said Pakistan believes in brotherly relations among the OIC member states.

Meanwhile, leading analysts and former diplomats have termed the Prime Minister's visit as a ‘bold initiative’ in the interest of unity and solidarity of the Muslim Ummah, Radio Pakistan reported.

Former ambassador Fauzia Nasreen viewed the initiative as positive. He said it will diffuse mounting tensions in the region, beset with already volatile situation of Syria, Yemen and Iraq.

A diplomatic expert Rasool Bux Raees said Pakistan's involvement in the broader perspective of the Arab Peninsula currently undergoing tensions and unrest will yield positive results.

A defense analyst Talat Masood said Pakistan took a right and correct position by assuming the role of reconciliator.

Another defence analyst Brig. (retd) Mahmood Shah said taking the prompt initiative, the Prime Minister would be making a case for the Muslim unity and harmony.