Saudi buys Pakistan support against Syria at $183 million credit

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Pakistan
Wednesday, 19 February 2014

wazir kharjaSaudi Arabia has managed to win crucial support from Pakistan in the ongoing insurrection in Syria, as the two key Muslim states on Monday called for the formation of an interim governing body to replace the Bashar al Assad regime.
It was reported by Karachi-based Express Tribune after the Saudi Crown Prince’s Pakistan visit.

Following talks between the visiting Saudi crown prince, Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud, with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the two countries demanded ‘the formation of a transitional governing body with full executive powers enabling it to take charge of the affairs of the country (Syria)’.
A joint statement issued after the Saudi dignitary’s meetings with the top civil and military leadership in Islamabad clearly suggests a shift in Pakistan’s policy on Syria. Until now, Islamabad had not taken sides in an attempt to maintain a delicate balance in its ties with both Riyadh and Tehran, which are at odds over the Syrian conflict.
Official sources told The Express Tribune that the recent flurry of visits by top Saudi officials were aimed at persuading Islamabad to support Riyadh on Syria after it lost faith in the US administration to oust Assad’s regime.
“The two sides reiterated the need for finding a quick solution to the existing conflict in Syria according to Geneva I Resolution in order to restore peace and security in Syria and prevent bloodshed of the brotherly Syrian people,” reads the joint statement.
The two sides went on to call for an immediate withdrawal of all ‘foreign armed forces and elements’ from Syrian territory. This is believed to be a reference to the alleged Iranian support to the Assad regime.
The two countries also demanded an end to the siege of Syrian towns and villages and cessation of aerial and artillery bombardment. They called for “setting up safe corridors and regions to deliver food and humanitarian aid to besieged Syrian citizens, under international supervision”.
When contacted, a senior government official insisted that there was no change in Pakistan’s Syria policy. Sources, however, said that in return for supporting Saudi Arabia on Syria, Pakistan is expected to get defence contracts and other economic favours from the oil-rich kingdom.
Earlier, reports had it that Saudi Kingdom was mounting pressure on the Pakistani government to send 2 divisions of army at Saudi disposal. Saudi Arabia has assured to provide $183 in terms of credit for the import of urea fertiliser from Saudi Arabia and the construction of a hydro-power project in Chitral.

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