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Saudi Arabia Denies Pressuring Pakistan Over Kuala Lumpur Summit

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Saudi Arabia has dismissed reports that it put pressure on Pakistan to stop it from attending the Kuala Lumpur Summit.

The denial comes a day after it was reported in Turkish media that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had said that Saudi Arabia coerced Pakistan into not attending the Kuala Lumpur Summit by issuing economic threats.

A press release issued by the Saudi embassy in Islamabad said that the relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were superior to the language of threat.

It added that the relations were long-standing and based on trust, understanding and mutual respect. The statement said that Saudi Arabia had always been with Pakistan during difficult times.

The statement also said that Saudi Arabia would always stand with Pakistan to be a successful and stable country.

The Kuala Lumpur Summit, which is on its last day today, has Iran, Turkey, Qatar and Pakistan as its main invitees. However, Prime Minister Imran Khan had cancelled his visit after a meeting with Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, a day before the summit.

On Friday, Turkish President Erdogan said that Saudi Arabia had threatened to withdraw $6 billion that it had deposited in Pakistan’s central bank and discontinue the employment of 4 million Pakistani workers in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia itself has not been invited to the summit.

Prior to the summit, media reports had indicated that Saudi Arabia and its allies, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait were concerned about the presence of Turkish, Iranian and Qatari leadership at the summit, and had fears about a new, parallel leadership forum being developed to undermine Saudi Arabia.

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