Pakistan remains non-committal to Saudi military alliance

Pakistani leaders on Sunday assured Saudi Arabia of their solidarity, but gave no indication of joining the kingdom's 34-nation military alliance to fight terrorism in the Islamic world.

"The people of Pakistan would always stand with the people of Saudi Arabia against any threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the kingdom," Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said at a meeting with Saudi Defence Minister Mohammad bin Salman.

Salman is thought to be the architect of the alliance of Muslim countries the kingdom had proposed last month, but notably excluded its major regional rival Iran.

Pakistan had indicated that it would participate, depending on the details of the plan. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed al-Jubeir visited Islamabad this week to do just that.

But his trip was overshadowed by recent tensions between Sunni-majority Gulf states and Shiite Iran after the execution by Saudi Arabia of a prominent Shiite cleric.

Salman also met Pakistan's powerful military chief Raheel Sharif.

"Any threat to Saudi Arabia's territorial integrity would evoke a strong response from Pakistan," a statement issued by the army quoted Sharif as telling the visiting minister.

None of the Pakistani leaders, however, explicitly assured Salman whether the country would join the alliance.

Last update: Sun, 10/01/2016 - 19:57

More from World

Trudeau faces ethics probe over vacation on Aga Khan's private island

Canada's ethics watchdog is investigating whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau violated his own conflict of...

King's son visits Trump after his sharp words with civil rights icon

President-elect Donald Trump met Monday with the son of slain civil rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King to...

Eight Egyptian police killed in attack on desert checkpoint

Eight Egyptian policemen were killed and three others wounded in an attack by gunmen Monday on a checkpoint in the...

Last man on the moon, US astronaut Gene Cernan, dies

The US astronaut Gene Cernan, the last astronaut to leave footprints on the moon, has died at the age of 82, the US...

Plague kills at least 27 in Madagascar

At least 27 people in southern Madagascar have died from the plague, health authorities on the island said Monday....