ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Foreign Office said on Thursday that Pakistan wants an early end of war in Yemen, and also reiterated Pakistan’s resolve to defend Saudi Arabia’s territorial integrity.
In her weekly press briefing in Islamabad on Thursday, the Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said that in order to find a peaceful solution to Yemen crises, Pakistan is in touch with different Islamic countries including Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran.
The spokesperson said that there is complete consensus within Pakistan that in case of any threat to the holiest sites in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan will be the first country to come forward for their defense.
“Saudi Arabia is a fraternal country and any threat to its territorial integrity and sovereignty will evoke a strong response from Pakistan,” Aslam said.
Iranian foreign minister’s visit was pre-scheduled: FO
The foreign office spokesperson clarified that the visit of the Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammad Javed Zarif to Pakistan was scheduled before the crisis in Yemen.
The Iranian foreign minister is currently in Islamabad on a two-day official visit for talks with Pakistani leaders on bilateral matters and Yemen issue.
On Wednesday shortly after his arrival in Islamabad, Zarif met the Prime Minister’s Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, and during the meeting, they agreed to continue joint efforts for peaceful resolution of Yemen crisis through political and diplomatic ways.
Tasnim Aslam said that both Pakistan and Iran have agreed to encourage the warring factions in Yemen to move towards dialogue for de-escalation of situation.
“Pakistan has repeatedly condemned the actions of non-state actors who overthrew a legitimate government of Yemen recognized by the international community and the United Nations,” the spokesperson said.
On Monday, eight Iranian border security guards were killed in Iran’s Sistan-Balochistan province by terrorists who had allegedly infiltrated from Pakistan.
In reply to a question about the killing of Iranian border guards, the spokesperson said that Pakistan has asked Iran to share the evidence or intelligence that the culprits of the incident have entered Pakistani territory. She assured that strict action will be taken if the culprits were found on our land.
Pakistan procuring US military equipment to meet its defense needs: FO
In her briefing, the foreign office spokesperson confirmed that Pakistan is procuring the US military equipment which will meet its critical defense needs as well as help it in the campaign against terrorism.
On Monday, the US State Department approved Foreign Military Sales to Pakistan of AH-1Z Viper Attack Helicopters and AGM-114R Hellfire II Missiles as part of a deal worth around $1 billion.
In a statement, the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency said that this proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a country vital to US foreign policy and national security goals in South Asia.
The Pakistan’s FO spokesperson said that the US State Department has notified to the Congress about the proposed sale of military equipment to Pakistan, and expressed the confidence that the final clearance will come through soon.
The spokesperson welcoming the US State Department notification, and said that this is in recognition of Pakistan’s needs in counter terrorism operations.
Chinese president will visit Pakistan this month: FO
In reply to a question about the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Pakistan, the spokesperson said that the Chinese president will visit Pakistan this month; however, dates have yet not been finalized.
“Pakistan and China are strategic partners and all weather friends,” she said, adding that such high level exchanges are aimed at further strengthening and cementing the bilateral relations.