Pakistan

RIYADH (Web Desk/APP) – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday led the Pakistani side in a delegation level talks with Saudi Arabia at Royal Palace here to discuss prevailing situation in Yemen with the Saudi side led by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz.


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PM Sharif and Saudi King Salman also held a luncheon meeting in Riyadh. The two leaders discussed the Yemen situation.

Earlier, Pakistani delegation was received by Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Nayef Al Saud and Saudi Defense Minister Muhammad Bin Sultan Al Saud at the airport.

The Prime Minister is being accompanied by Defense Minister Khawaja Asif, Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry.

The prime minister had earlier chaired a meeting in the aircraft on the situation in Yemen as the Pakistani delegation was travelling to Saudi Arabia.

It is a rare occasion that the Pakistani civil and military leadership is visiting the kingdom together.

The decision for the PM’s visit and the Army chief to accompany him was taken at a high-level meeting of civil-military leaders which lasted for over three hours on Wednesday.

The meeting discussed Pakistan’s official position on the Yemen conflict after Saudi-led coalition forces announced an end to air strikes against Houthi rebels.

The meeting also discussed Saudi Arabia’s request to Pakistan for military assistance in the Yemen operation, and the recent joint parliamentary resolution urging the government to stay neutral in the Middle East conflict.

Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam, while briefing media in Islamabad on Thursday said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has gone to Saudi Arabia to have consultations with Saudi leadership to find an amicable solution to the Yemen issue.

Pakistan, a longtime ally of Saudi Arabia, has resisted a request by the kingdom to join coalition forces in the operation against Houthi rebels in Yemen.