PM Nawaz leaves for Saudi Arabia to help ease Saudi-Qatar rift

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Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has left for Riyadh to hold talks on the ongoing crisis involving Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries.

Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, and senior officials are accompanying the premier.

Read more: Qatari pilgrims prevented from entering Grand Mosque in Makkah

Earlier today, PM Nawaz summoned a meeting of Pakistan’s top envoys from Gulf countries to discuss Saudi-Qatar rift.

“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.

Also read: Iran offers Qatar use of its ports as Gulf blockade bites

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.

Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE had cut ties with Qatar last week, accusing their former Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) ally of supporting extremist groups.

Read more: Qatar rejects ‘terror blacklist’ by Saudia, allies as groundless

Earlier 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.

In a statement, Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria rejected reports appearing in some foreign media regarding deployment of Pakistani troops in Qatar.

He said these were “completely fabricated and baseless”.

Read more: Qatar ‘not prepared to change its foreign policy’

Zakaria stressed that “these false reports appear to be part of a malicious campaign aimed at creating misunderstanding between Pakistan and brotherly Muslim countries in the Gulf.”

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