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Pakistan Undecided on Joining Saudi-Led Coalition in Yemen - Envoy

Sputnik News

21:47 03.04.2015(updated 21:59 03.04.2015)

Pakistan has not yet made any decision regarding Saudi Arabia's request to join its anti-Houthi coalition in Yemen, the country's ambassador to Russia told Sputnik on Friday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik), Svetlana Alexandrova – Last week, Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam confirmed that the Kingdom had asked Pakistan to join the coalition that has been conducting airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen since last Wednesday.

"Pakistan has not yet taken any decisions on the Saudi request, " Ambassador Zaheer Janjua said.

Yemen is currently the scene of armed clashes as Houthi forces continue to overrun areas controlled by troops loyal to displaced President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who fled the country amid the escalating violence.

The envoy noted that President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain has called for a joint parliamentary session, which will be held on Monday, "to decide what is going to be the course of action." According to Janjua, the decision will be adopted based on the guiding principles of Pakistan's foreign policy.

The ambassador stressed that regardless of the decision Saudi Arabia remains "strategic ally and close brotherly country that always stood by Pakistan."

Earlier this week, the media, quoting a senior Pakistani government official, reported that Pakistan will send troops to Saudi Arabia to join the coalition fighting Yemeni Houthi rebels. Ambassador Janjua denied the allegation, echoing a previous statement by Pakistani Defense Minister Khawaj Asif.

"There are no Pakistani troops in Saudi Arabia right now," the ambassador reiterated, however, that there are Pakistani servicemen in Saudi Arabia, none of whom are combat troops.

The air campaign, initiated by Saudi Arabia last week, came a day after President Hadi's call for help. Apart from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan, Pakistan and Egypt are participating in the coalition; with intelligence, targeting and logistical support provided by the United States.


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