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Pakistan to stay away from S Arabia-Iran imbroglio

Top Story

January 4, 2016

Saudi FM’s Pakistan visit postponed

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan would stay away from the showdown between Saudi Arabia and Iran, both the countries having a long history of acrimonious relations.

Highly-placed diplomatic sources confided to The News on Sunday evening that Saudi Arabia had postponed its Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir’s visit to Pakistan and Riyadh had informed Islamabad about the deferment.

The Saudi government has informed Pakistan about the reasons of the postponement of the visit and sited his engagements as the reason. He was due in Islamabad on Sunday. The sources reminded that the visit of Saudi foreign minister wasn’t linked to the confrontation between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

To a query, the sources said Pakistan could play a role for reconciliation between the two brotherly countries provided both asked for the same. Pakistan is concerned about the existing state of ties between the two countries, the sources maintained.

Pakistan had hailed and welcomed the maiden visit of Saudi foreign minister as for long no high-profile visit to Pakistan from the Kingdom has taken place, the sources reminded. The Saudi foreign minister will have talks in the Foreign Office on Thursday and he will have a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif the same day.

It is likely that Pakistan would gather details about the Islamic Alliance which is without Iran, Syria and Iraq. Pakistan enjoys close cooperation in various spheres with Saudi Arabia, including defence and economy, and has been appreciative of the Saudi rulers who have been looking after more than two million workers from Pakistan.