Pakistan reaffirms support for Saudi over Iran

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Nuclear state Pakistan has reaffirmed its support for Saudi Arabia, saying any threat to Riyadh will be met with a response from Islamabad.

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman shakes hands with Pakistan Army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif. /SPA
Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets with Pakistani army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif. /SPA

In a Jan. 10 statement, Pakistani army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif pledged Pakistan’s support for Saudi amid the kingdom’s escalated tensions with Teheran over the execution of Shi’ite cleric Nimr al-Nimr that led to Iranians attacking the Saudi embassy and consulate in Iran.

Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman arrived in Islamabad on Jan. 10, the second top Saudi official to visit Pakistan in a week.

In the wake of the attacks on its diplomatic outposts in Iran, Saudi Arabia and several of its allies announced the severing or downgrading of diplomatic ties to Teheran.

Pakistan has been part of the Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. It is the only Muslim country in the world known to have a nuclear arsenal.