Saudi foreign minister to arrive in Islamabad today

ISLAMABAD – Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir will arrive in Islamabad today on two-day visit to Pakistan.

According to the reports, the Saudi minister will meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and other senior officials. The sources said that the Saudi minister will also discuss Pakistan’s inclusion and its role in a Saudi-led 34-country coalition against terrorism.

He will also have talks with the Pakistani leadership on different aspects of bilateral relations and regional and international issues of mutual interest. The foreign minister was scheduled to visit Pakistan on January 3 but it was postponed after a rise in tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran, after Iranian protestors ransacked the Saudi Embassy in Tehran and Riyadh cut diplomatic ties with Iran.

Diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran – Pakistan’s neighbour to the west – deteriorated as Iranian protestors reacted with fury to Riyadh’s execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr earlier this week. The international community has urged Saudi Arabia and Iran to observe restraint after tensions over the execution of the cleric and 46 others — Saudi Arabia’s biggest mass execution for decades.

Pakistan has expressed concern over ongoing tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran, with the Foreign Office condemning the attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran. In a statement on Tuesday, the Foreign Office said providing security to diplomatic staff and mission is the responsibility of the state and that hostile forces could try to take advantage of the differences of the Muslim Ummah.

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