Saudi FM to visit Pakistan in an apparent ‘damage control’ manoeuver following Malaysian Summit

The Saudi Foreign Minister will meet Pakistan’s top civil and military leadership.

  • Following the summit, Turkish news sources quoted President Recep Tayyib Erdogan as saying that Pakistan was ‘pressurized’ to back off.
  • Saudi Arabia, however, denied the allegations, terming them as ‘baseless’.
  • KSA said that its relationship with Pakistan extends beyond threats.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah is expected to arrive in Pakistan for a day-long visit on Thursday in an apparent ‘damage control’ manoeuver following the Malaysian summit.

Riyadh, Kuala Lumpur and Islamabad made the headlines last week after PM Imran Khan pulled out of the Malaysian summit at the last moment ‘surrendering to Saudi pressure’.

Pakistan’s political and foreign policy environment witnessed an interesting development after PM Khan refused to attend the Kuala Lumpur Summit, held on the 21st of December to offer “an international platform for Muslim leaders, intellectuals and scholars…to discuss and exchange ideas about the issues revolving in the Muslim world.” PM Khan had accepted the invitation from his Malaysian counterpart earlier but backtracked after his emergency visit to Riyadh.

KSA dismisses Erdogan’s allegations:

Following the summit, Turkish news sources quoted President Recep Tayyib Erdogan as saying that Pakistan was ‘pressurized’ to back off. He said that the kingdom threatened to withdraw its financial assistance to Pakistan and expel millions of laborers working there.

Saudi Arabia, however, denied the allegations, terming them as ‘baseless’. The KSA said that its relationship with Pakistan extends beyond threats. It also clarified that the reason for staying away from the summit was because it was not a ‘gathering of Muslim leaders’ but rather an attempt to form a new Islamic ‘bloc’.

The KSA said that it prioritizes its relationship with Pakistan and subsequently Prince Faisal will be visiting himself to strengthen diplomatic ties. The Saudi Foreign Minister will meet Pakistan’s top civil and military leadership to show the Kingdom’s commitment towards their  ‘long-term strategic partnership with Pakistan’.

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