Gulf crisis: PM chairs envoys’ conference; to leave for Saudi Arabia with COAS later | Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will leave for Saudi Arabia today to help resolve the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf. He will be accompanied by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, according to sources. 

During the one-day visit, the premier will hold discussions with senior officials of the kingdom on the ongoing crisis involving Qatar and Saudi Arabia and other Arab states.

The premier is expected to depart from the Nur Khan Airbase at around 1pm. He will be accompanied by foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz, among other officials.

Sources said the prime minister may also make stopovers in other Gulf nations involved in the crisis. 

Before his departure, the premier is expected to address a conference under way at the Foreign Office to mull Pakistan’s response to the crisis.

The conference, chaired by Sartaz Aziz, is being attended by Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, as well as envoys to UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait, who have been called back especially for the event. 

During a media talk on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Kazakhstan, Sharif had stressed that Pakistan enjoys good relations with Saudi Arabia, Iran and Qatar, and will try its best to resolve the differences between the Arab countries.

Last week, Saudi Arabia, along with Egypt, Bahrain and UAE, cut off all ties with Qatar on its alleged support of extremism and terrorism, as well as ties with Iran.

The boycott was later adopted by Yemen, one of the Libyan governments, Maldives and Mauritius.

Kuwait is attempting to play the role of a mediator and hopes to diplomatically resolve the crisis. 

Qatar has denied the claims made by Saudi Arabia and the other states. 

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