Saudi Foreign Minister holds talks with Pakistan leadership

Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and held delegation-level talks with the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz. 

PTI| Last Updated: Jan 08, 2016, 01:55 AM IST

Islamabad: Days after his trip was postponed due to spiralling Saudi-Iran tensions, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister today arrived here and held talks with the Pakistani leadership on a host of issues including regional security situation and Islamabad's concerns over the 34-nation alliance to fight militancy.

Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and held delegation-level talks with the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz. He also met army chief General Raheel Sharif.

Adel briefed the Prime Minister on the details of the Islamic military alliance against terrorism after Pakistan announced its readiness to join it once all details are made available.

Sharif said that Pakistan welcomes Saudi Arabia's initiative and stressed that it supports all such regional and international efforts to counter terrorism and extremism. They also discussed regional security situation and matters of bilateral interest.

The Prime Minister called for further strengthening and expanding bilateral relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, in all fields of cooperation, including defence, security, economic and commercial ties, according to an official statement.

Adel also briefed Sharif on Saudi Arabia's growing tensions with Iran over the execution of a Shia cleric in the Kingdom.

Sharif expressed deep concern at the escalation of the situation and condemned the burning down of Saudi Embassy in Tehran.

The Prime Minister called for resolution of differences through peaceful means "in the larger interest of the Muslim unity".

Adel was originally scheduled to arrive on Sunday but the trip was delayed due to Saudi Arabia's growing tensions with Iran over the execution of Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, in the Kingdom.

During the talks with Aziz, the two sides discussed ways to deepen bilateral cooperation in all fields and underscored the need to develop jointly a counter narrative against extremism and terrorism.

The two countries agreed to hold political consultations twice a year alternately in Islamabad and Riyadh. They agreed to make a concerted effort to promote multi-faceted cooperation and work together to defeat "common enemy ? terrorism and extremism."