Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs postpones visit to Pakistan

Saudi Arab’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir has postponed his visit to Pakistan, the Foreign Office said in a statement on Sunday.

The countries here mentioned have decided on the formation of a Military Alliance led by Saudi Arabia to fight terrorism, with a joint operations centre based in Riyadh to coordinate and support military operations, the Saudi government said in a statement.

Last month, Saudi Arab had announced the formation of an Islamic military coalition to combat terrorism. The Kingdom led coalition includes a long list of Islamic countries, but excludes Iran.

Jubair was scheduled to arrive here in the federal capital on a two-day official visit. Earlier, media reports had said the minister would take the Pakistani leadership into confidence over the 34-nation Islamic military alliance.

Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah however had also given a welcoming statement that Yes; they are a part of the coalition. They have decided and they also welcome it. They are participating in this alliance against terrorism but the only thing that needs to be decided is the extent of their participation in various activities of the alliance, he had said.

Pakistan – like many other countries was surprised at its inclusion in the Saudi led military alliance. Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry had said he was stunned to read the news that Saudi Arabia had named Pakistan as part of the alliance, adding that he had asked the Pakistani ambassador in Riyadh to get a clarification from Saudi Arabia on the matter.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir was to arrive in Islamabad on Sunday (today) to reportedly take Pakistani leadership into confidence over the Middle East situation and the recently formed 34 nation military alliance by the kingdom, it has been learnt.

The officials further said that the purpose of the visit is to consult Pakistan’s leadership over joining the anti terrorism alliance.

Saudi Arabia had earlier announced the formation of a 34-state Islamic military coalition to combat terrorism. The inclusion of Pakistan in this alliance drew a mixed response from Islamabad.

The Foreign Office later welcomed the formation the alliance but said Islamabad is awaiting further details in this regard to decide the extent of its participation.

Pakistan has consistently supported all regional and international efforts to combat militancy, extremism and terrorism and, to this end, has extended its full support and cooperation to international community, the FO stated.