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Qatar diplomatic crisis: Nawaz Sharif leaves for Saudi Arabia; expected to discuss Gulf nations' rift

Islamabad: Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif is headed for Saudi Arabia on Monday on a day-long visit in the backdrop of a deepening diplomatic rift in the West Asia, the media reported.

Sharif is expected to hold talks with Saudi leadership centered on deteriorating relations between Gulf nations after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates cut ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism, Dawn News reported.

File image of Pakistan's prime minister Nawaz Sharif

File image of Pakistan's prime minister Nawaz Sharif. Reuters

In its earlier response to the West Asia crisis, Pakistan had stressed the need for unity in the Muslim world and urged the countries involved to engage in dialogue.

Ahead of his visit, Sharif called a meeting of the country's top envoys from Gulf countries to discuss the Saudi-Qatar rift.

Pakistani ambassadors in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz will attend the conference on Monday.

After the meeting, Prime Minister Sharif will leave for Saudi Arabia, accompanied by army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa and advisor Aziz, Dunya News reported.

"Since Pakistan enjoys good relations with Saudi Arabia, Iran and Qatar, we will try our best to resolve the differences between the Arab countries," Nawaz Sharif had told journalists during a recent visit to Kazakhstan.

Pakistan shares "good" ties with all Gulf countries and has been asked by the country's parliament to stay neutral in the crisis, while trying to resolve it.

On Sunday, Pakistan rejected as "fabricated and baseless" reports that it plans to deploy its troops in Qatar amid diplomatic tensions in the Middle East.

Published Date: Jun 12, 2017 15:04 PM | Updated Date: Jun 12, 2017 15:12 PM

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