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Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu held talks at Ankara on Friday.

The two sides discussed bilateral relations as well as the situation in the Middle East with focus on the developments in Yemen.

Speaking in Radio Pakistan’s Nuqta-e-Nazar program, defense analyst Air Marshal (Retd.) Shahid Latif said: “The efforts of Pakistani government regarding Yemen situation are laudable but stranded Pakistanis should have been evacuated first before making any decision to send troops there. Yemen is an Islamic country and deliberations should be made with other Islamic countries to resolve the crisis instead of committing troops there. There are some hidden hands that are trying to pit Muslim countries against each other. Iran should also be consulted regarding Houthi rebels in Yemen. The visit to Prime Minister to Turkey is a good step to resolve this crisis peacefully.”

Defence analyst Lt. General (Retd.) Talat Masood said: “Prime Minister’s visit to Turkey indicates that both countries are committed to resolve this issue peacefully. Both Pakistan and Turkey have a traditional leaning towards Saudi Arabia. Yemen is a poor country and the conflict going on there will create more problems for the people of that country. Iran also wants to resolve this issue through negotiations. Saudi Arabia has reservations on the policy of US and West regarding Iran. US had assured Saudi Arabia of its support in this conflict but the US has its own interest in the region. Pakistan and Turkey will standby Saudi Arabia in case of any threat to its territorial integrity.”

Foreign Office Tasnim Aslam Spokesperson said: “Both Pakistan and Turkey do not want the situation in Yemen to deteriorate. Both brotherly countries are in favour of resolving this issue through dialogue. Our government has made strenuous efforts to evacuate the Pakistanis stranded in Yemen and around 800 fellow country men have been brought back to the country. Pakistan does not want to be part of Yemen crisis.”

Analyst Dr. Muhammad Khan said: “Pakistan is the first Muslim country whose prime minister made a visit to another Muslim country to consult about the Yemen crisis. Pakistan has always tried to reduce tensions between various Muslim countries. The war in Yemen has no sectarian aspect. Rather, it is a struggle for power. Houthi rebels have deposed the elected government of their country and the situation is leading towards instability. Pakistan and Turkey will also have to take Iran into confidence, so that Muslim countries should be saved from infighting. Saudi Arabia has always generously supported Yemen financially and many Yemeni citizens reside and work in Saudi Arabia. The occupation of Houthi rebels is totally illegal.”

Senator Lt. General (Retd.) Abdul Qayyum said: “Enemies of Islam want to pit Muslim countries against each other in order to weaken them. Today, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited Turkey and held consultations with the Turkish leadership on Yemen. Pakistan wants to unite the whole Muslim Ummah in order to avoid the conflict spilling over to other countries. Pakistan has always played a key role in making the OIC, Arab League and other forums active.”


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