Iranian FM meets PM Nawaz, army chief to discuss Yemen crisis

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Pakistan
Thursday, 09 April 2015

With Pakistan’s decision on whether to join the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen yet to be made, Iranian Foreign Minister Javed Zarif arrived at the PM House in Islamabad for talks with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Considered crucial to resolving Yemen crisis, sources said Pakistan wants Iran to pull back support for the Houthi rebels in the war-hit country. “While Iran wants Pakistan and Turkey to convince Saudi Arabia to cease air strikes on Yemen,” the sources added.

Sources further said that Turkey has also asked Iran to use its influence in Yemen to play a role in reducing the conflict.

“Iran wants to secure five-month ceasefire or a complete halt to Saudi air strikes in Yemen to buy time and reorganise Houthis who have been severely hurt because of Saudi bombardment,” the sources claimed.

Sources also indicated that the Kingdom wanted talks on its own terms with immediate reinstatement of Yemen’s president. They further revealed that the Saudis were determined to continue their air strikes on Yemen.

“Pakistan wants formation of an influence group – consisting of Islamic countries – to play a role in convincing both Saudi Arabia and Iran to reduce the conflict in Yemen,” the sources said, adding that prolonged air strikes could mean reduced chances of ground troops in Yemen.

Sources further confirmed that Iran does not want Pakistan playing an active role for Saudi Arabia and may use the ‘gas pipeline’ trump card to achieve its objectives.

“After successful talks on its nuclear issue with P5 countries, Iran can now comfortably discuss the pipeline with Pakistan,” the sources said.

Later on, the Iranian foreign minister also met with Army Chief General Raheel Sharif.

A statement issued by the ISPR on the meeting between Zarif and Sharif emphasized border difficulties and possible defense cooperation.

“Focus of the discussion remained on regional security including the evolving situation in the Middle East, Pak-Iran border management and defense and security cooperation between both the countries,” it said.

“The unity and integrity of Muslim Ummah (community) and greater harmony amongst the Muslims was emphasized.”

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