Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir today postponed his visit here during which he was expected to consult Pakistani leadership over the country joining the kingdom’s Islamic military coalition to combat terrorism.
The visit, which was scheduled for today, was postponed on Saudi Arabia’s request, official sources said, without citing any reason.
The postponement of the Saudi Foreign Minister’s visit came a day after Saudi Arabia announced the execution of a prominent Shiite cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, along with 46 others, garnering condemnation from Shiites across the region.
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that Saudi Arabia will face “divine revenge” for executing the top Shiite cleric whose death sparked protests in which the kingdom’s embassy in Tehran was firebombed.
The Foreign Minister was expected to meet Pakistani leadership to take them into confidence over the situation in Middle East and the 34-nation military alliance recently formed by the kingdom to fight terrorism, Radio Pakistan reported today.
The Saudi Foreign Minister was scheduled to meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.
Earlier in December, Riyadh announced the formation of the 34-state Islamic military coalition to combat terrorism, naming Pakistan among the coalition members without first getting its consent.
Initial reports had suggested that Islamabad had been unaware of its inclusion in the coalition as Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry said that he was surprised to read the news that Saudi Arabia had named Pakistan as part of the group.
However, the Foreign Office later in a statement said that Pakistan welcomed the formation of the 34-nation alliance to counter terrorism and was awaiting further details to decide the extent of its participation in different activities of the alliance.