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Pakistan to remain neutral in Qatar-Gulf rift, says Sartaj Aziz

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Wednesday has said that the former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General (retd), Raheel Sharif, joined as the head of the Islamic Military Alliance in his personal capacity.

Briefing to members of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Aziz said that Pakistan would remain neutral by taking neither sides in the recent stand-off between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

“Pakistan will adhere to its non-partisan policy on the Middle East issue, hence it will not intervene in matters of other countries,”Aziz asserted.

Apprising the Senate committee, he said that the parliamentary resolution on the Saudi-Yemen issue was also passed in April of 2015 by determining that the country would keep distance from Saudi-led campaign inside Yemen and continue with its pursuit of a diplomatic solution to the war in Yemen. “Pakistan’s policy remains unchanged,” he added.

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya and the United Arab Emirates announced that they were cutting off all ties with Qatar, accusing the Gulf state of supporting terrorism.

Later, the diplomatic and business boycott was adopted by Yemen, one of the Libyan governments, Maldives and Mauritius. However, Kuwait is attempting to play the role of a mediator and hopes to diplomatically resolve the crisis among the Gulf Cooperation Council members.

Subsequently, Qatar has denied the claims made by Saudi Arabia and the other states, but hopes to resolve the crisis fearing an economic downturn.



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