Pakistan to consult other countries to defuse Yemen crisis

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Islamabad, March 31: Pakistan Prime Minster Nawaz Sharif on Monday decided to play a more proactive role to defuse tension in war-torn Yemen by consulting other countries for the peaceful solution of the crisis in the Gulf country.

Sharif chaired a high-level meeting to undertake a comprehensive review of the prevailing situation in the Middle East.

Also read: Yemen crisis: What role can India play?

Yemen crisis: Sharif chairs meeting

The meeting concluded that Pakistan remains firmly committed to supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia in accordance with the aspirations of the people of Pakistan.

According to an official statement, in the meeting it was emphasised that Pakistan stands committed to playing a meaningful role in arresting the deteriorating situation in the Middle East.

"In the same context, and to facilitate early resolution of the crisis and to promote peace and unity of the Muslim Ummah, the Prime Minister would be contacting the leadership of brotherly countries," it said.

"Pakistan calls upon the United Nations, OIC, and the international community to play a constructive role in finding a political solution of the crisis," the meeting concluded, according to the statement.

Over 500 Pakistanis, including 116 children, have been evacuated from Yemen

The meeting was attended by Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif, Advisor to PM on National Security Sartaj Aziz, Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, Acting Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Khan Hasham bin Saddique and Secretary Foreign Affairs, among other senior officials.

Over 500 Pakistanis, including 116 children, have been evacuated from war-torn Yemen by a special Pakistan International Airlines flight [Around 500 Pakistanis return home from strife-torn Yemen]

The Prime Minister had ordered authorities to evacuate over 3,000 Pakistanis stranded in Yemen after security situation worsened in the Gulf country.

In Yemen, Shiite militiamen, also known as Huthis, and army units loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh have overrun much of the country and prompted President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to flee for Saudi Arabia.

A Saudi-led coalition of some 10 countries began bombing Yemen on Thursday, saying it was targeting the Houthis and their allies.

PTI

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