Diplomatic efforts needed to de-escalate Saudi-Iran tensions

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel Bin Ahmed al-Jubeir met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif and discussed mutual relations and the situation prevailing in Middle East.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Adel Bin Ahmed exchanged views on regional security situation and tense relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

During the meeting, the prime minister stressed upon the need to ease tension between the two countries by using peaceful diplomatic sources.

Nawaz said that the Muslim Ummah needs to play their role in order to bring the two nations closer.

“Pakistan expressed deep concern at the escalation of the situation and condemned the burning down of (the) Saudi Embassy in Tehran,” PM’s office said in a statement.

“The prime minister called for (the) resolution of differences through peaceful means in the larger interest of the Muslim unity.”

Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi, National Security Advisor Nasser Khan Janjua, and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry were also present in the meeting.

The Saudi minister also met with Army Chief General Raheel Sharif at the General Headquarters. According to Inter-Services Public Relations, key issues including regional security were discussed.

The Saudi minister praised Pakistan’s sacrifices in war against terrorism. He said Pakistan’s role for stability in the region was praiseworthy.

According to the joint statement issued here on the visit, both the countries agreed to make a concerted effort to promote multifaceted cooperation and work together to defeat their common enemy – terrorism and extremism.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, during his meeting with Dr Adel Al-Jubeir, stressed that the people of Pakistan held the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in high esteem and also had deep respect for the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques.

The prime minister affirmed that the people of Pakistan would always stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Saudi Arabia against any threat to territorial integrity and sovereignty of Saudi Arabia.

The foreign minister briefed the prime minister on details of the Islamic coalition, announced by Saudi Arabia to fight terrorism.

Sharif stated that Pakistan welcomed Saudi Arabia’s initiative and stressed that Pakistan supported all such regional and international efforts to counter terrorism and extremism.

He called for further strengthening and expanding bilateral relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, in all fields of cooperation, including defence, security, economic and commercial cooperation.

The prime minister urged intensified efforts to further boost bilateral trade and also urged to increase Saudi investment in Pakistan, especially in the energy sector where Pakistan offers attractive investment regime. The Saudi foreign minister briefed the prime minister on the ongoing programmes to enhance Saudi investment in critical sectors of Pakistan’s economy.

Foreign Minister Al-Jubeir also briefed the prime minister on the recent situation in the Kingdom’s relations with Iran.

Pakistan believes in respect for international norms and adherence to principle of non-interference,” said the statement.

The visiting Foreign Minister also held delegation level talks with Advisor to the Prime Minister Sartaj Aziz.

During the talks, held under bilateral political consultation mechanism, the two sides discussed the ways and means to further expand areas of bilateral cooperation.

The two sides also discussed ways to deepen bilateral cooperation in all fields. Both sides agreed to hold political consultations twice a year alternatively in Islamabad and Riyadh.

Both sides also exchanged views on fighting terrorism and extremism. The advisor briefed Saudi foreign minister on the successful campaign that Pakistan has waged against the twin menace of terrorism and extremism. The two sides underscored the need to develop jointly a counter narrative against extremism and terrorism with the help of Ulemas.

The two delegations also discussed regional and global issues of common concern. It was agreed that both countries would make a concerted effort to promote multi-faceted cooperation and work together to defeat their common enemy – terrorism and extremism.

All the meetings were held in an atmosphere of warmth, friendship and cordiality that characterizes the historic and fraternal relations between the two countries. Special Correspondent

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