Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif to Visit Saudi Arabia on April 23

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Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif to Visit Saudi Arabia on April 23

File Photo: Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. (Reuters)


Islamabad:  Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will visit Saudi Arabia on April 23 (Thursday) to discuss the developing situation in Yemen, a media report said today.

The Pakistan premier will hold talks with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz during his visit, the Daily Times reported.

Mr Sharif's visit comes in the backdrop of Pakistani parliament unanimously approving a resolution calling for maintaining neutrality during the conflict in Yemen.

The unanimous resolution was passed on April 10 after a week-long debate during a joint parliamentary session, which also vowed that Pakistan would come to Saudi Arabia's defence if the country's sovereignty or territorial integrity was threatened.

Saudi Arabia had asked Pakistan for military assistance, including ground troops, fighter jets and navy vessels to join the coalition forces in the Yemen operation.

On April 15, a high-level Pakistani delegation held talks with Saudi leaders, including Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Abdulaziz.

The delegation was headed by Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and also included Prime Minister's Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry.

Both sides discussed bilateral relations and the regional situation with special reference to the Yemen crisis.

The visit by the Pakistani delegation came hours after US Secretary of State John Kerry telephoned Nawaz Sharif and exchanged views on Yemen crisis.

The US placed two top figures in Yemen's Houthi rebellion - Houthi leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi, and Ahmed Ali Saleh, the son of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh - on its sanctions blacklist while the UN Security Council has approved an arms embargo on the group.

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