Saudi FM’s visit to Pakistan postponed, now will arrive on Thursday

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has postponed his two-day visit to Pakistan, and now he will undertake the visit from January 7-8.

Earlier, he was scheduled to arrive in Islamabad on January 3 but according to a Foreign Office statement, the visit of Saudi foreign minister had been postponed. He would now visit Pakistan on January 7.

It will be Adel al-Jubeir’s first visit to Pakistan since he assumed the office of foreign minister of Saudi Arabia in April 2015. During his visit, he will hold important meetings with Pakistani leadership.

The sources said that during talks between the Saudi foreign minister and Pakistani leadership, the military coalition of 34-Islamic countries under Saudi Arabia’s leadership will be brought under discussion.

The two sides will also discuss bilateral relations and regional and international issues of mutual interest.

On December 14 last year, the Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Muhammad bin Salman told a news conference that 34 nations had formally agreed to form an “Islamic military coalition” to fight terrorism.

Later on December 16, Pakistan welcomed the formation of the 34-nation Saudi Arabia-led alliance against terrorism, saying it had consistently supported all regional and international efforts to combat militancy, extremism and terrorism and, to this end, had extended full support and cooperation to international community.

“Pakistan welcomes the formation of the 34-nation alliance to counter terrorism and is awaiting further details to decide the extent of its participation in different activities of the alliance,” the Foreign Office Spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said.

Later on December 23, the Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz told media at the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad that Pakistan would decide to join this alliance after consultation with Saudi Arabia but same time he said that involvement of Pakistan in alliance was of “voluntary nature”.

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“Participation of Pakistan in Saudi-led 34-nation coalition against terrorism is of voluntary nature and Pakistan will decide to join this alliance with total support and accordance with its requirements and priorities,” Sartaj Aziz said.

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