Pakistani PM hopes for swift solution to crisis over Qatar

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Pakistan's prime minister on Tuesday expressed hopes for a swift resolution to the crisis with the energy-rich nation of Qatar, which has seen major Arab countries and others cut ties and move to isolate the Gulf Arab state.

Nawaz Sharif's office issued a statement following his return from Saudi Arabia, where the Pakistani premier, accompanied by army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa and senior ministers, sought to calm tensions over the standoff.

Last week, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain accused Qatar of supporting terrorism and severed ties. Qatar denies the allegations, but its ties to Iran and embrace of various Islamist groups have put the country under intense scrutiny.

Pakistan, which has close ties with the kingdom but also business ventures in Qatar, has stayed out of the dispute.

The statement from Sharif's office quoted him as saying he hopes the "current impasse in the Gulf will be resolved soon" in the best interest of the Muslim community.

It reiterated Pakistan's "solidarity with the kingdom and the people of Saudi Arabia" and also quoted King Salman as saying the joint fight against terrorism is in the interest of all Muslims countries.

Despite its special ties to Saudi Arabia, Islamabad in 2015 rejected the kingdom's request that Pakistan send troops into Yemen as part of a Saudi-led military campaign against Yemen's Shiite rebels.

Pakistan has also said it will not take part in any military action against a Muslim country.