King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia received Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif upon arrival at the Royal Palace here on Monday. The Prime Minister is visiting the Kingdom in the context of prevailing situation among the Gulf states. Earlier, upon arrival in Saudi Arabia, the Prime Minister was received by Governor Makkah.

Ali Hussain adds from Islamabad: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) General Qamar Bajwa Monday left for Saudi Arabia on a daylong visit with an aim to help defuse the ongoing diplomatic crisis in the Gulf countries. Accompanied by Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar and Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Satraj Aziz, the Prime Minister and Army Chief will hold talks with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, diplomatic sources said.

“The delegation led by PM Sharif will convey the sentiments of Pakistani people and the government that we want unity among the Muslim Ummah and that the present challenges to the Ummah underscore the needs for unity and not confrontation,” a diplomatic source said. Pakistan, last week, expressed concerns over the diplomatic row between the Saudi Arabia and Qatar and emphasised on unity. “Pakistan believes in unity among Muslim countries. We have made consistent efforts for its promotion. The situation, therefore, is a matter of concern,” Spokesperson Foreign Office Nafees Zakaria had told his weekly media briefing on Thursday last.

On Sunday, the Foreign Office rejected reports regarding deployment of Pakistani troops in Qatar as “completely fabricated and baseless.” “These false reports appear to be part of a malicious campaign aimed at creating misunderstanding between Pakistan and brotherly Muslim countries in the Gulf,” Zakaria had said.

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