Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has vowed to protect Saudi Arabia’s “territorial integrity” and said his country would not remain a bystander against efforts to destabilise the oil-rich Gulf Kingdom.
Sharif, who travelled to Saudi Arabia with a powerful delegation including army chief General Raheel Sharif and Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, met King Salman and other top government officials yesterday during his day-long trip.
During the meeting, Sharif expressed solidarity with Saudi Arabia and reiterated his commitments to defend the kingdom’s territorial integrity.
“Prime Minister Sharif reiterated that any aggression against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s territorial integrity will evoke a strong response from Pakistan,” Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson said here today.
Pakistan has expressed to the Saudi leadership its deep concern at the increasing threats to regional peace and stability in the Gulf region and emphasised that there was a dire need to ensure that the region did not get further destabilised by terrorist groups and other non-state actors.
“It was underscored that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was a policy imperative for Pakistan. Pakistan could not remain a bystander against efforts to destabilise the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the spokesperson said.
King Salman and Sharif expressed satisfaction at the talks and reiterated their commitment to further enhance bilateral relations, the official said, adding Sharif reiterated his invitation to Saudi monarch to visit Pakistan at the earliest.
Saudi Arabia had asked Pakistan for military assistance, including ground troops, fighter jets and navy vessels to join the coalition forces in the war in Yemen.
However, the Pakistani parliament unanimously approved a resolution calling for maintaining neutrality during the conflict in Yemen, annoying Saudi leaders.
Sharif’s visit comes about a week after his younger brother Shahbaz Sharif led a delegation to Riyadh but failed to mend ties soured after Pakistan’s denial to commit troops.
Later, Sharif met Yemen’s embattled President Mansoor-al-Hadi, who is currently living in Riyadh.
Pakistan condemned the violent overthrow of the legitimate government of Yemen by Houthi rebels and said it was not only the responsibility of the Saudi-led coalition to defeat the rebels but that of the entire international community.
Pakistan has also offered to cooperate in delivering humanitarian assistance in Yemen and offered its support for implementation of UN Resolution 2216, the spokesperson added.
Shah Rukh’s ‘Circus’ returning on DD National
Tackling anxiety effectively key to success, contentment
Broadway star Aaron Tveit tests positive for coronavirus
Coronavirus: Tom Hanks says he and Rita Wilson ‘feel better’
Salman asks fans to take COVID-19 threat seriously, says lockdown is not public holiday
© 2020 State Times Daily Newspaper