Pakistan supports Saudi Arabia amid changing Situation in region

Religious Affairs Minister Pir Noorul Haq Qadri
Religious Affairs Minister Pir Noorul Haq Qadri

Pakistan would side with Saudi Arabia in the fast-changing situation inthe Middle East because the kingdom had always supported the country in theface of every difficult situation, Religious Affairs Minister Pir Noorul HaqQadri said on Saturday.

Addressing a ceremony to distribute aid among the deserving people ofAzad Kashmir, organised by the International Islamic Relief Organisation,the minister said Saudi Arabia was a friend and it had always given importanceto Pakistan.

The minister did not mention the killing of an Iranian general in a USstrike in Iraq and the Saudi-Iranian tensions. "We are proud of our friendshipwith Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia helped us on every occasion," he told theceremony, also attended by the Saudi ambassador to Pakistan NawafAl-Maliki.

The minister said that the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) hadalso supported Pakistan in the time of need. He pointed out that Saudi Arabialaunched relief operation for the cold-affected people in northern regions.

The minister spoke a day after the Foreign Office issued acarefully-drafted statement, expressing "deep concern with the recentdevelopments in the Middle East, which seriously threaten peace and stabilityin the region".

The Foreign Office did not explicitly mention the assassination ofMaj-Gen Qassem Soleimani in a US drone strike in Baghdad on Friday. "Respectfor sovereignty and territorial integrity are the fundamental principles of theUN Charter, which should be adhered to," the statement said.

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