ISLAMABAD: The Saudi Embassy in Pakistan on Saturday denied a claim that the Kingdom had exerted pressure on Islamabad to dissuade it from participating in the Kuala Lumpur Summit.
The claim was published and aired by various media outlets in the country.
“The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Pakistan denied the information and fake news broadcast by some media channels, claiming that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia pressurized and threatened Pakistan to refrain from participating in the Kuala Lumpur Summit,” said the statement, adding that the relations between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan were cordial and did not require use of threatening language.
“The brotherly relations between the countries are long standing and strategic based on trust, understanding and mutual respect, and the two countries enjoy a consensus of views on most regional and international issues, especially the issues of the Islamic nation,” the statement continued, adding that the two sides had complete agreement on the idea of Muslim unity and maintaining the role of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The Embassy further maintained that the Kingdom had always stood by Pakistan in difficult times due to the fraternal relations between the two sides, noting that Saudi Arabia always wanted Pakistan to be a successful and stable country.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad hosted the Kuala Lumpur Summit from December 18 to 21. Prime Minister Imran Khan took a belated decision to skip the conference, making some sections of the media speculate that his decision was made under the Kingdom’s pressure.
Pakistan’s envoy to Saudi Arabia said the impression was totally wrong, and it was created by certain segments to serve their vested interests.
— السفارة في باكستان - سعودی سفارت خانہ (@KSAembassyPK) December 21, 2019
“It is utterly wrong to say that Saudi Arabia pressurized Pakistan to miss the summit. It is a totally baseless impression,” Ambassador Raja Ali Ejaz told Arab News on the phone on Saturday, adding that the bilateral relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were strong and time-tested.
“We have around three million expat Pakistanis in the Kingdom,” he added. “Pakistan’s prime minister has visited Saudi Arabia four time in less than a year and the Saudi crown prince also paid a visit to Pakistan earlier this year in February which shows the strength of our cordial relations.”
The spokesperson of Pakistan’s foreign office, Aisha Farooqui, said that Pakistan did not participate in the KL Summit since more time and effort were required to address the concerns of major Muslim countries regarding divisions 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,” she said.