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Saudi Foreign Minister Visits Pakistan Amid Iran Tensions


Pakistan's National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz (R) shakes hands with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir before their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad on January 7.

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister is in Islamabad for talks with Pakistani leaders.

Adel al-Jubeir met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and army chief General Raheel Sharif on January 7, the first day of his visit.

Pakistan, which borders Iran and has a large Shi'ite minority, is keen to use the two-day visit to defuse tensions between the Sunni Muslim-majority kingdom and Shi'ite Iran.

Saudi Arabia's execution of a prominent Shi'ite cleric has infuriated Tehran, Riyadh's regional rival.

Riyadh and several of its Sunni allies have broken diplomatic ties with Iran after demonstrators stormed the Saudi Embassy in Tehran last weekend.

"Pakistan expressed deep concern at the escalation of the situation and condemned the burning down of [the] Saudi Embassy in Tehran," Sharif's office said. "The prime minister called for [the] resolution of differences through peaceful means in the larger interest of the Muslim unity."

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP

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