Pakistan's Imran Khan set to visit Saudi crown prince as Iran tensions mount

Pakistan's Imran Khan set to visit Saudi crown prince as Iran tensions mount
Khan has pledged to work with Saudi Arabia to confront "sabotage acts that threaten global economy and the Kingdom's security".
2 min read
17 September, 2019
Saudi Arabia is a key economic and military ally of Pakistan. [Getty]

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureishi said on Tuesday that the country's leader, Prime Minister Imran Khan, will travel to Saudi Arabia later this week for an important meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Associated Press reported.

Qureishi said the visit will take place on Thursday, but offered no further information.

The planned visit comes just one week after the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and the UAE visited Khan in Islamabad. 

Pakistan's Dawn reported that Khan expressed Pakistan's support for Saudi Arabia in the wake of the drone strikes on the kingdom's oil facilities, and pledged to confront "these sabotage acts which threaten the global economy and the Kingdom's security".

Saudi Arabia is a key ally of Pakistan and is the biggest supplier of oil to Islamabad.

Also read: Pakistan's Khan slams 'cowardly' Modi over Kashmir annexation

Dawn reported that this is the third time that the two leaders have spoken to each other since August, as PM Khan attempts to raise the issue of Kashmir with different world leaders at various platforms.

A drone strike on two Saudi oil facilities led to state-owned oil company Aramco to cut down its production of oil by half.

The Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed responsibility for the attack, but many, including Washington, blame Tehran for carrying out the strikes. Iran has denied any involvement. 

The Houthis have issued further threats against the Kingdom in a bid to force Saudi Arabia to withdraw from its military engagement in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia and its allies are currently bogged down in a five-year conflict in Yemen against the Tehran-backed Houthis.