Saudi Arabia rejects reports it pressurized Pakistan from attending KL Summit

Islamabad: Saudi Arabia rejected reports that it pressured Pakistan to shun the Kuala Lumpur Summit. The Saudi embassy in Islamabad released its statement a day after Turkish media quoted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying Pakistan had decided to stay away from the recently concluded summit because of Saudi Arabia’s threats of economic sanctions.

“The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Pakistan denied the information and fake news broadcasted by some media channels, claiming that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia pressurized and threatened Pakistan to refrain from participating in the Kuala Lumpur Summit,” read the Saudi statement on Saturday.

“The embassy affirms that the relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and [the] Islamic Republic of Pakistan are superior to the language of threat. The brotherly relations between the countries are long-standing and strategic based on trust, understanding and mutual respect, and the two countries enjoy a consensus of views on most regional and international issues, especially the issues of the Islamic nation.” It added, “The embassy also confirms that the Kingdom has always stood with Pakistan in difficult times based on fraternal relations, and we strive always to stand with Pakistan to be a successful and stable country.”

A press release issued by the Saudi embassy stated, “The Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan confirms that the news promoted by some parties about alleged pressures exerted on Pakistan by the Kingdom to discourage it from participating in the mini-summit held in Malaysia are baseless and fake, and stresses that these false reports are already denied by the nature of solid brotherly relations between the two brotherly countries, and their agreement on the importance of the unity of the Islamic nation, maintaining the role of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), mutual respect for their sovereignty and the independence of their decisions, which is a key feature of the well-established historical relations between them.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told a press conference that Pakistan had decided not to attend the summit in order to assert neutrality as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had expressed concerns that the move could cause a division among the Muslim countries and lead to the setting up of an entity parallel to the OIC, a 57-member pan-Islamic body headquartered in Jeddah.

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