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Army chief, PM Nawaz to depart for Riyadh tomorrow

Updated April 22, 2015

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PM Nawaz's visit to Saudi Arabia will be his second trip in two months. - AFP/File
PM Nawaz's visit to Saudi Arabia will be his second trip in two months. - AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: PM Nawaz chaired a high-level consultative meeting on the latest situation in Yemen on Wednesday, during which it was decided that the premier will visit Saudi Arabia on a day-long visit along with Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif.

PM Nawaz will also be accompanied by Defence Minister Khawaja Asif and Special Assistant to the PM Tariq Fatemi to meet the top Saudi leadership.

Official sources said that the meeting was attended by senior foreign policy officials and military leaders and the premier took them into confidence over his visit to Riyadh for continuing deliberation on the Yemen conflict.

While speaking to the participants, the premier also welcomed Saudi Arabia's decision of halting air strikes in Yemen and said this would pave the way for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

Also read: PM visits Riyadh tomorrow for talks on conflict

PM Nawaz's visit coincides with developments in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition claimed success in thwarting the threat from Houthi militia and announced the conclusion of the Operation Decisive Storm and start of the next phase that has been codenamed Operation Hope.

This will be the premier's second visit to the kingdom in two months. He last travelled to Saudi Arabia on March 3 when he committed defence cooperation with the kingdom.

The defence cooperation was taken by the Saudi leadership as a commitment to joining the 10-nation alliance it later formed to fight the Yemeni Houthis. But the posture later adopted by Pakistan on sending troops annoyed Arab leaders.

The PM last week sent his brother (Punjab Chief Minister) Shahbaz Sharif as a special envoy to pacify the royal family.