Saudi statement comes in response to Turkish President. Saturday’s Saudi embassy in Islamabad refuted “lies and fake news” from some media outlets that Saudi Arabia “pressured and intimidated” Pakistan to refrain from attending the Kuala Lampur Summit.
The statement comes one day after the Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah quoted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying that Pakistan had decided to stay away from the recent summit due to the threats of economic sanctions from Saudi Arabia.
A press release issued by the Saudi embassy stated: “The embassy claims that the relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan are superior to the language of danger.
“The country’s fraternal relationships are long-standing and strategic, based on trust, understanding, and mutual respect, and the two countries enjoy a convergence of views on most regional and international issues, especially the Islamic nation’s issues.” The statement added that Saudi Arabia has always been “focused on fraternal relations” with Pakistan in difficult times.
“We still aspire to be a prosperous and stable country with Pakistan,” added the embassy.
Saudi Arabia shunned the conference in Kuala Lampur and blamed for allegedly weakening the broader Islamic Cooperation Organization (OIC). Many observers have speculated that the reluctance of Saudi Arabia to participate stemmed from the fear of diplomatic isolation by regional rivals Iran, Qatar, and Turkey, all of whom attended the summit.
Saudi state news agency SPA also announced that Saudi King Salman reaffirmed on a call with Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohammad that these issues should be addressed through the OIC.
According to Daily Sabah, when speaking to members of the Turkish media, Erdogan said it was not the first time that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had put pressure on a country to do certain things or not.
“We see that Saudi Arabia is under threat from Pakistan, sadly. Now, there are promises that Pakistan has made to the central bank. Four million Pakistanis are employed in Saudi Arabia, however, more than that. They[ threaten by saying they] will send back[ Pakistanis] and instead re-employ Bangladeshis, “Erdogan said.
He added that the kingdom even wanted to withdraw money that it had deposited in Pakistan’s State Bank.
Pakistan had to comply with Saudi wishes “because of its economic difficulties,” according to Erdogan.
While not answering the comment of the Turkish president directly, the Foreign Office, in response to media questions, said that Pakistan did not participate in the Kuala Lumpur Summit because “it took time and effort to resolve major Muslim countries ‘ concerns about the potential division in the Ummah.”
“Pakistan will continue to work for the Ummah’s unity and solidarity, which is necessary if the challenges facing the Muslim world are to be addressed effectively,” the FO spokesman said in a brief statement.
Pakistan was one of the first countries that Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir spoke with when he met with Prime Minister Imran on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York in September.
Later, when Malaysia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Marzuki Bin Haji Yahya called him in Islamabad on November 29, Imran Khan formally expressed his acceptance of the invitation to attend the summit.
Nonetheless, Prime Minister Imran’s claims of canceling his trip to Malaysia began making rounds last week. The Premier decided to stay away from the Kuala Lumpur Summit after his visit to Saudi Arabia on Saturday. He withdrew, according to sources, due to pressure from the monarchy, which during its early days had extended a helping hand to the government of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf to stave off an economic crisis.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had announced on Tuesday that at the summit of some 20 Muslim countries that began in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, there would be no representation from Pakistan.
Qureshi stated that Saudi Arabia and the UAE were concerned about the summit, saying that both countries were concerned that the event could trigger “division in Ummah” and lead to the creation of an organization parallel to the current Saudi OIC.
In view of the concerns about the summit, Qureshi said, it was agreed that Pakistan would try to bridge the gap between Riyadh and Kuala Lumpur and there would be no attendance at the summit if that didn’t work.
The object of Prime Minister Imran’s visit to the Kingdom was to put Saudi Arabia and Malaysia closer together and not to get permission to attend the summit, the minister said at the time. News report on Saudi statement comes in response to Turkish President.