Pakistan welcomes Saudi alliance but shies away from commitment

Pakistan welcomed Saudi Arabia’s 34-nation alliance to fight terrorism in the Islamic world, but gave no indication as to whether the country would join, following high-level talks in Islamabad.

“Pakistan welcomes Saudi Arabia’s initiative and supports all such regional and international efforts,” a Foreign Ministry statement quoted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as saying.

The premier met late Thursday with Saudi Foreign Minister Abel bin Ahmed al-Jubeir, who was in Islamabad to provide details of the grouping.

Riyadh proposed the alliance last month, but notably excluded its major regional rival Iran.

Pakistan had indicated that it would participate, depending on details of the venture.

Al-Jubeir's visit was overshadowed by recent tensions between Sunni-majority Gulf states and Shiite Iran after the execution by Saudi Arabia on Saturday of a prominent Shiite cleric.

In the statement, Sharif called for the peaceful resolution of differences in the interests of Muslim unity.

Last update: Fri, 08/01/2016 - 07:36

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