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PM Nawaz, COAS to leave for Saudi Arabia, Iran on Monday

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif will leave for Saudi Arabia and Iranon Monday.

According to details, PM Nawaz has been scheduled to meet Saudi king Shah Salman during his visit to discuss key issues. The premier will also hold meetings with higher Saudi officials.

Nawaz Sharif will also depart for Iran after completing Saudi Arabia visit however, Advisor to PM Sartaj Aziz and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif will accompany him.

The trip comes amid mounting tensions in the region over the war in Syria and after protesters ransacked and burned the Saudi Embassy in Tehran over the execution of a Shiite cleric.

Nimr, who spent more than a decade studying theology in Iran, was among a group of 47 Shia and Sunnis executed Saturday on charges of terrorism.

Iran said in reaction to Nimr’s execution that “the Saudi government supports terrorist movements and extremists, but confronts domestic critics with oppression and execution.”

In this connection, Saudi Defence Minister Prince Muhammad bin Salman  visited Pakistan and held meeting with General Raheel Sharif at General Head-Quarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi. Prince Muhammad bin Salman said on this occasion that Saudi Arabia will support Pakistan on every matter.

Saudi Defence Minister was welcomed at Noor Khan Airbase by Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Foreign Advisor Sartaj Aziz and military officials. Prince Muhammad bin Salman went straight to GHQ from the airbase and met General Raheel Sharif.

General Sharif said that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia share exemplary relations and any threat posed at Saudi Arabia will meet a strong reaction from Pakistan.

Saudi Defence Minister said that Pakistan is highly important for Saudi Arabia and it appreciates Pakistan’s efforts for ensuring regional security. He said that Saudi Arabia puts Pakistan and its army in high esteem. He announced support for Pakistan in all matters. NNI

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