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PM Imran to lead Pakistani delegation at OIC summit in Makkah

May 28, 2019

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Prime Minister Imran Khan will represent Pakistan at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Saudi Arabia on May 31. — Photo courtesy Imran Khan Twitter/File
Prime Minister Imran Khan will represent Pakistan at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Saudi Arabia on May 31. — Photo courtesy Imran Khan Twitter/File

Prime Minister Imran Khan will represent Pakistan at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Saudi Arabia on May 31, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said before departing for Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

Saudi King Salman invited 57 members of the OIC to attend the summit, Arab News reported, adding that key issues facing the Muslim world, including "strengthening unity among Muslim states amid rising tensions in the Arabian Gulf", will be discussed at the two-day summit.

The fourth session of the summit will be held in Makkah.

While speaking to media in Islamabad today, Qureshi said he was going to attend a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC which would set the tone for the summit, reported Radio Pakistan.

He said that the situation in Iran and the rising tensions would be discussed during the meeting, and added that Pakistan would present its point of view.

Qureshi said that he would speak to his counterparts and the OIC secretary general at the sidelines of the meeting. He added that a session of the Kashmir Contact group is also expected, Radio Pakistan reported.

The OIC summit is among three summits Saudi Arabia is hosting in Makkah this week to allow US ally Riyadh the chance to present unified Islamic, Arab and Gulf fronts against its arch-rival Tehran.

Read: Iran tensions overshadow Makkah summits

Iran itself has not yet confirmed whether it will attend the meeting of the OIC, of which it is a member.

Tensions have soared in the Gulf, with the United States deploying an aircraft carrier and bombers there over alleged threats from Iran.

Washington has reinstated tough sanctions against Tehran and decided to deploy 1,500 more troops to the Middle East amid sabotage attacks on oil facilities.

Two Saudi oil tankers, among four vessels, were the targets of mysterious acts of sabotage off the United Arab Emirates (UAE) this month, and Iran-aligned Yemeni rebels have stepped up drone attacks on the kingdom — one of which resulted in the temporary shutdown of a major oil pipeline.

Tehran has repeatedly threatened to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which 35 per cent of the world's seaborne oil passes.

The Arab League and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) emergency summits called by Saudi Arabia are to be held on Thursday, a day before the long-scheduled OIC summit.