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Iran’s Foreign Minister to visit Pakistan to discuss Yemen

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

Islamabad:  Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif will visit Pakistan to exchange views on the situation in Yemen, a day after Prime minister Nawaz Sharif called on Iran to get involved in a debate on security in the strife-torn country.

The visit is taking place when Pakistan parliament is mulling a request by Saudi Arabia to provide troops, jets and warships to join its coalition fighting in Yemen against Shia Houti rebels, allegedly supported by Iran.

Defence minister Khawaja Asif said that Zarif would be in Pakistan today.

The agenda of Zarif’s visit has not been released, but according to informed sources he will meet Prime Minister Sharif and advisor on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz to discuss the conflict in Yemen.

Sharif has already taken an initiative to find a peaceful solution to the issue and visited Turkey last week.

The Turkish President yesterday visited Tehran and held talks with Iranian leaders on the Yemen.

Sharif yesterday asked Iran to get involved in talks on security in Yemen as parliament debated whether Pakistan should join the Saudi-led operation.

Sharif had told parliament that he was waiting for a message from the Turkish leader after his visit to Tehran to take more steps for tackling the problem.

He also has a plan to involve the leaders of Indonesia and Malaysia to help cool the situation.

It is believed that Zarif will try to dispel the impression that his country was arming the Houtis, who toppled the government in Yemen and are now a threat to Saudi Arabia.

There is growing concern in the Muslim world that the Yemen crisis may deepen the sectarian divide and may endanger the peace and stability in other countries, mostly having both Sunni and Shia populations.

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