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Saudi Arabia, UAE FMs in Pakistan to discuss regional tensions

Published: Updated:

The foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and the UAE will be in Islamabad on Wednesday to discuss regional tensions with Pakistan’s government.

Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir and UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan arrive in Islamabad today, according to Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

Qureshi said on Twitter that the foreign ministers of the two Arab countries were arriving in Pakistan and would discuss the “grave situation” in Kashmir, which is experiencing “daily atrocities” and a “humanitarian crisis.”

The disputed Kashmir region, claimed in full by both India and Pakistan, is a major source of friction between the neighboring countries.

India revoked the special status of the Indian-controlled province of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, and imposed a security crackdown on the province. Pakistan rejects the move.

Tension remains high in Kashmir, where security forces have used tear gas against stone-throwing protesters and the valley remains under lockdown.

The Saudi Foreign Ministry previously expressed its concern over the latest developments in Kashmir, calling for the settlement of the conflict “on the parties concerned to maintain peace and stability in the region and to take into account the interests of the people of the region” in a Saudi Press Agency press release.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received a telephone call from Khan late last night, reported the Saudi Press Agency. The two leaders reportedly discussed Saudi-Pakistani relations and the latest developments in the region.

The Saudi Crown Prince previously visited Pakistan in February, setting the stage for a strategic partnership.

Wednesday's meeting comes as Pakistani and Indian officials are meeting to finalize a draft agreement for the opening of a border crossing to allow Sikh pilgrims from India to cross easily into Pakistan and visit shrine there.