Pakistan

Gulf crisis: PM Nawaz, Army chief leave for Saudi Arabia on day-long visit

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday left for Saudi Arabia on a day-long trip to play a role in resolving the Gulf crisis, ARY News reported.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Jawed Bajwa, finance minister Ishaq Dar, PM’s adviser on foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz and Pakistan’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia accompanied the prime minister to the kingdom.

The PM will discuss the deepening Middle East crisis with the officials of the kingdom to help end the diplomatic crisis engulfing the region.

The tensions between Saudi Arabia and Qatar continue to escalate following the former and its allies severing ties with the Gulf state.

While commenting on the Gulf crisis, PM Nawaz Sharif had earlier said, “Pakistan will do all it can do to help resolve the crisis.”

The Foreign Office of Pakistan while expressing deep concern over severing of ties with Qatar by Saudi Arabia and its allies had reiterated that Pakistan will play its role to unite the Muslim states. “Pakistan believes in unity among Muslim states and has made serious efforts for its promotion,” said foreign office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt had earlier severed diplomatic ties and transport links with Qatar, accusing it of supporting “extremism”. Qatar has vehemently denied the charges.

In its statement, the Qatari government termed the measures against it unjustified and based on claims and assumptions. It said the country has been leading the region in attacking what it called the roots of “terrorism”, including giving young people hope through jobs, educating hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and funding community programmes to challenge agendas of armed groups.

“Our position on countering terrorism is stronger than many of the signatories of the joint statement – a fact that has been conveniently ignored by the authors,” the government said.

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