ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif started a trip to Saudi Arabia and Iran on Monday with an aim to defuse tensions between the two countries.
Television footage showed PM Nawaz and COAS Raheel Sharif arriving at the airport and boarding an aircraft which shortly took off for Riyadh. The two leaders will later visit Tehran on Tuesday after an overnight stay in Saudi Arabia.
During the visit, the Premier and the Army Chief will hold meetings with the Saudi and Iranian leadership and discuss regional and international issues with particularly the escalations between Riyadh and Tehran.
The Prime Minister has urged both the countries to resolve their differences amicably for greater interest of the Muslim Ummah in the backdrop of tough times.
Pakistan, which enjoys close friendly ties with Saudi Arabia and Iran, has always supported promotion of brotherly relations among the member states of Organization of Islamic Council (OIC).
The PM and Army Chief’s trip to Saudi Arabia follows the visit of both the Saudi foreign minister and deputy crown prince to Islamabad last week, underlining the closeness of the relationship between the two Muslim countries.
Sources said Islamabad had been in contact with various capitals including Riyadh and Tehran to lessen tension for a number of days.