Nawaz Sharif asks Iran to help bring Houthis to negotiating table

Nawaz Sharif asks Iran to help bring Houthis to negotiating table

“Pakistan doesn’t abandon friends and strategic partners especially when their security is under threat,” Sharif said.



By (Agencies)

Published: Wed 15 Apr 2015, 12:50 AM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 9:53 PM

Islamabad — Pakistan’s prime minister on Monday called on Iran to use its influence to help bring Yemen’s rebels to the negotiating table on the crisis roiling their country, where Saudi-led airstrikes have been targeting the rebels for over two weeks.

The call came after the parliament in Pakistan voted on Friday to stay out of the Yemen conflict and not send troops for the Saudi-led coalition, as Pakistani officials said the kingdom had asked for.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said he had discussed Yemen in depth with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif who visited Islamabad last week and that he denounced the power grab by the Yemeni rebels known as Houthis.

“Pakistan doesn’t abandon friends and strategic partners especially when their security is under threat,” Sharif said.

“We have already intensified contacts with Saudi Arabia to monitor the ground situation and possible threats to the security and territorial integrity of the kingdom,” Sharif said.

“The violent overthrow of Yemen’s legitimate government by the Houthis has set a dangerous precedent,” Sharif said. “It is fraught with serious risks for the entire region.”

“Pakistan will intensify its diplomatic efforts in the coming days, in consultation with the leadership of Saudi Arabia, to resolve the crisis,” Sharif said.

“We believe that the restoration of President Hadi’s government will be an important step forward towards establishing peace in Yemen.” Sharif insisted that the disappointment expressed in Gulf countries was the result of an apparent misinterpretation of the parliament resolution and assured Saudi Arabia of Pakistan’s full support as an ally.


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