ISLAMABAD- Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister had landed, on Thursday, in Pakistan for a planned two-day visit during which he met the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif according to a Reuters report.
A number of Saudi Arabia’s allies have broken diplomatic ties with Iran after demonstrators vandalized the Saudi embassy in Tehran last weekend.
However, Pakistan, which borders Iran and has a large Shi’ite minority, has avoided taking sides,as the PM Sharif tries to curb sectarian violence at home and grow economic ties with both Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Nonetheless, “Pakistan expressed deep concern at the escalation of the situation and condemned the burning down of (the) Saudi Embassy in Tehran,” Sharif’s office said in a statement.
Furthermore, Pakistan wants to deepen trade links with both Iran and Saudi Arabia and improve access to their vast energy resources to fuel its power-hungry economy.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have promoted a close alliance for decades now, and in 2014, Saudi Arabia gave Pakistan $1.5 billion as a “gift” to support its foreign reserves.
Prime Minister Sharif called for resolving differences through peaceful means in the larger interest of the Muslim unity; an action that coincides with the diplomatic approach Saudi Arabia has been adopting since the moment of the attack on its embassy. The attack was an event contrary to all diplomatic values, Saudi Arabia refused to wage a war, and chose to forcing fair punishment on its relationship with Iran.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir also met army Chief General Raheel Sharif and Sharif’s foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz.
“The real trick is to find a way to send him (Al-Jubeir) back happy without giving him anything that would upset his Iranian counterpart”, said Mosharraf Zaidi, an Islamabad-based critic.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif