Saudi-Iran tension: Nawaz Sharif to visit Tehran, Riyadh on Jan 18-19

PakistanSaudi-Iran tension: Nawaz Sharif to visit Tehran, Riyadh on Jan 18-19

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will visit Iran and Saudi Arabia on January 18 and 19 as part of efforts to reduce the ongoing tension between the two regional powers.

Reports suggest that the Army Chief General Raheel Sharif may also join the prime minister on his visit. However, Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) is yet to release official statement about the expected visit of army chief along with Prime Minster Nawaz Sharif till the filing of this report.

The emergency visit by Sharif to Saudi Arabia and Iran is aimed to defuse enhanced tense situation in the Middle East which further prevailed after the Saudi Kingdom cut off its diplomatic ties with the Islamic Republic in protest against violent demonstrations over the execution of Shia Cleric Nimr al-Nimr.

Pakistan has also offered its mediator role to end the tension between two longtime rivals.

The GCC countries particularly Saudi Arabia want support of Pakistan Army in their contras in Middle East while Pakistan Army is refraining from indulging in Middle East issues including Yemen war and any armed support to Saudi Arabia against Iran.

Moral pressure on Prime Minister Nawaz is tremendous as he had been guest of Saudi Royal family for over seven years when he was sent to Saudi Arabia out of a deal among former Army General Musharraf, United States, Saudi Arabia and Nawaz family after the removal of Nawaz from prime minister ship in a coup. Moreover business interests of Prime Minister Nawaz and his majority of ministers are in GCC countries particularly Qatar.

The government of Pakistan has consistently asked both Riyadh and Tehran to solve their disputes in peaceful manner as their bilateral standoff would prove to be fatal for regional stability and may also inflame sectarianism.

“Pakistan enjoyed good brotherly relations with both the countries (Saudi Arabia and Iran) and hoped both sides would peacefully resolve their issues,” the Foreign Office Spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said in his media briefing in Islamabad on Thursday.

Meanwhile, a senior diplomatic source told media that the Federal Defence Minister Khawaja Asif’s upcoming visit to Iran has been cancelled.

The minister was scheduled to travel to Tehran on a two-day visit from Monday (January 18) for promoting defence ties between Pakistan and Iran. However, the prime minister directed the cancellation of the visit.

Mati
Mati
Mati-Ullah is the Online Editor For DND. He is the real man to handle the team around the Country and get news from them and provide to you instantly.

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