ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa arrived in Saudi Arabia Monday to help resolve diplomatic crisis in the Gulf.
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The prime minister was received by Salman Bin Abdul Aziz.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Adivser to PM on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan’s envoy to SA Khan Hasham and other officials have accompanied the premier during the visit. The premier will hold meetings with officials of the Kingdom on the ongoing crisis.
Before leaving, the PM chaired a envoy conference to discuss the GCC-Arab crisis. The ambassadors concerned including from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar, Pakistan’s Ambassador to UN Maleeha Lodhi and other officials attended the meeting
The purpose of the meeting was to develop a stance on the issue after discussing with envoys regarding the ongoing situation.
After the meeting, the prime minister said that Pakistan has deep and friendly relations with Saudi Arabia among all Gulf states, adding that Pakistan will make honest efforts to ease ongoing rift between Islamic countries.
During his recent visit to Kazakhstan to attend SCO summit, the Prime Minister stated that Pakistan was ready to play the role of mediator to help end the diplomatic crisis in the Middle East.
“Pakistan would try to solve the crisis diplomatically,” said PM Nawaz adding that Pakistan valued its ties with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Iran.
On June 5, five Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Yemen and Egypt, and other non-Arab countries cut all diplomatic relations with fellow Gulf Arab state, Qatar, for allegedly supporting terrorism and extremism.
After the untoward decision by Muslim countries, international powers were wondering whether Pakistan would side with Saudi Arabia or take a different turn.
However, a Foreign Office statement confirmed that Pakistan had no immediate plan to severe ties with Qatar.
“Pakistan has no such plans,” FO spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said in a statement.
“At the moment there is nothing on Qatar issue, (we) will issue a statement if some development takes place,” Zakaria added.