Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday left for a day-long official visit to Turkey to hold discussions with the country’s top leadership on the Yemen crisis.
During his visit, Sharif will meet with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara.
Pakistan believes in a peaceful resolution of the crisis and wished to promote unity among Muslim countries, Sharif said in a statement released ahead of his departure.
Sharif is accompanied by National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi and Secretary Foreign Affairs Aizaz Chaudhry.
The visit was agreed during a telephonic conversation of Sharif with the Turkish President on Tuesday. The two leaders will also discuss how the two countries can be helpful in addressing the issue of Yemen, where Saudi Arabia has launched air strikes after Houti rebels took control of the country.
Pakistan is under pressure to provide troops in aid of the 10-nation coalition led by Saudi Arabia. Pakistan yesterday also called for a special joint session of parliament on Monday to decide whether to join the Saudi-led coalition of mainly Gulf states fighting Houthi rebels.
Pakistan seems to be wary of reaching a decision apparently due to Iran’s support to the Shia Houthi rebels as well as chances of a sectarian discord in the country that is majorly Sunni-dominated like Saudi Arabia but also has a 20 per cent Shia population.
It is believed that Pakistan and Turkey will try to resolve the conflict which has potential to divide the Muslim countries on sectarian lines.