Saturday, December 21, 2019
Web Desk

Riyadh strongly denies 'pressuring' Pakistan into withdrawing from Malaysia summit

Saudi Arabia dismissed reports of pressuring Pakistan to withdraw from summit as ‘baseless’ and ‘fake’

Web Desk
Prime Minister Imran Khan and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Photo: File

Saudi Arabia on Saturday dismissed reports that it had pressured Pakistan to pull out of the Kuala Lumpur Summit being held in Malaysia. 

In a press release issued Saturday, the Saudi embassy dismissed as "baseless and fake" reports that the Kingdom had allegedly pressured Pakistan to discourage it from participating in the summit.

"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," the statement read. 

Also read: PM Imran Khan cancels Malaysia visit under Saudi pressure

The two countries are, the statement read, "in agreement on the importance of the unity of the Islamic nation, and maintaining the role of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation".

The statement added that they also had "mutual respect for their sovereignty and the independence of their decisions, which is a key feature of the well-established historical relations between them". 

On Friday, a report published by the Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah had claimed that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had said that Saudi Arabia issued economic threats to Pakistan to pressure it into withdrawing from the Malaysia summit. 

Saudi Arabia pressured Pakistan into withdrawing from Malaysia summit: Erdogan

The four-day conference, which opened in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday to address some of the thorniest issues of the Islamic world, was boycotted by a handful of countries, including Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

In response to the reports, the Pakistani Foreign Office had released a statement late on Friday to address the speculation, saying that Pakistan withdrew from the summit as "time and efforts were needed to address the concerns of major Muslim countries regarding possible division in the Ummah".

"Pakistan will continue to work for the unity and solidarity of the Ummah, which is indispensable for effectively addressing the challenges faced by the Muslim world," the statement had added.