Pakistan’s decision is “dangerous” and “unexpected” – UAE foreign minister

Slamming Pakistan’s decision to not join the Saudi-led coalition targeting Houthi rebels in Yemen as ‘dangerous and unexpected,’ the United Arab Emirates said the country was favouring Iran over the Gulf nations.

“The Pakistani parliament’s resolution, which promoted neutrality on the Yemeni conflict, and voiced support for Saudi Arabia is contradictory and dangerous and unexpected from Islamabad,” UAE’s minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash said on Twitter.

Gargash accused Pakistan of choosing Iran over the Gulf nations at a time when they face an “existential confrontation” in the Yemen conflict, according to Al Arabiya.

“Tehran seems to be more important to Islamabad and Ankara than the Gulf countries,” Gargash added.

After a marathon debate on Riyadh’s request for Pakistan to join the military coalition against Houthi rebels in Yemen, federal lawmakers asked the government on Friday with one voice to stay out of the conflict in the Arabian Peninsula, but backed its commitment to protect Saudi Arabia’s territory which is currently under no threat.

Read: Will of parliament: ‘Stay out of Yemen conflict’

“Though our economic and investment assets are inevitable, political support is missing at critical moments,” he wrote, referring to the Gulf countries economic assistance to Pakistan.

“The Arabian Gulf is in a dangerous confrontation, its strategic security is on the edge, and the moment of truth distinguishes between the real ally and the ally of media and statements,” the minister further said.

“The vague and contradictory stands of Pakistan and Turkey are an absolute proof that Arab security — from Libya to Yemen — is the responsibility of none but Arab countries, and the crisis is a real test for neighbouring countries.”

Read: Yemen conflict will have serious implications for regional security: Army chief

Turkey expressed its support for the Saudi-led coalition and said it would offer logistics and intelligence support.

“This is nothing but another chapter of laggard impartial stand,” Gargash added.

Not only criticising Pakistan’s stance, the minister also demanded Pakistan to show a clear stand “in favour of its strategic relations with the Gulf nations, ad contradictory and ambiguous views on this decisive matter will have a cost highly.”

Meanwhile, the military spokesperson for the Saudi-led offensive code named Operation Decisive Storm, Brigadier General Ahmed Asiri claimed on Friday, Pakistan is yet to announce its official position.

Asiri said while Pakistan’s participation would be an addition to the coalition, its absence in the operation wouldn’t affect the coalition’s work.


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