PM to visit Yemen, Saudi Arabia from Friday: FO

Caretaker prime minister Mohammadmian Soomro will be leading an important trade delegation to Yemen and Saudi Arabia from Friday, aimed at further strengthening ties, particularly economic and commercial cooperation with these countries.
In a weekly briefing here on Wednesday, Foreign Office said the prime minister would visit Yemen at the invitation of his Yemenese counterpart.
He said during his two-day stay in Yemen, prime minister Soomro will hold meeting with Prime Minister Dr. Ali Mohamed Mujowwar followed by delegation level talks.
His engagements also include meetings with President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Chairman of the Shoora Council Abdul Aziz Abdul Ghani.
The prime minister will also address the Yemeni businessmen and meet with the Pakistani community.
The prime minister will hold meetings with business executives in Saudi Arabia Sunday and perform Umrah and offer prayers at Masjid-e-Nabavi in Madina Munawwarah.
Answering a question, the Spokesman said the visit is aimed at increasing bilateral trade with Yemen and Saudi Arabia and the prime minister would be meeting importers from these countries for the purpose.
He said the OIC Ministerial Committee would be meeting in Jeddah on Sunday to discuss the Gaza crisis. Foreign Minister Inamul Haq will represent Pakistan at the moot, he added.
Replying to another question, the Spokesman said Pakistan supports position of Middle East and Arab League countries on resolution of Palestinian dispute.
He said Pakistan would think about establishing relations with Israel only after Palestinian issue is resolve in a just manner.
He told a questioner that there was a chance meeting of the President with the Israeli Defence Minister in Paris and added Pakistan did not talk about Iran with another country. Iran is our brotherly country and Pakistan stands by its principled position on the nuclear issue, he said.
The Spokesman said Pakistan has noted reports about Indian plans for opertionalisation of the Baglihar dam. He said Pakistan expects that specifications of the dam would conform to those proposed by the neutral expert in its verdict.
Pakistan Indus High Commissioner has requested for a meeting to inspect the dam before its operationalisation.
Replying to a question, he said, any action on Pakistani territory by foreign forces will be considered as enemy act and will be resisted.
There are no American troops in Pakistan, he said and added Americans have publicly offered to send troops if needed by Pakistan but “we have told them that we don’t need foreign troops.”
The Spokesman said the body of the US embassy official, who died in Islamabad a day before yesterday, was transported to the United States today.
He said Pakistan has lodged a protest with the United States over treatment meted out to Mr. Edhi in New York and added Mr. Edhi is an important Pakistani and symbol of Pakistan.
His passport and green card were taken by the US authorities for want of renewal of the green card. His passport is being returned to him today while he will have to stay for longer duration in the United States to get his green card renewed.
To a question, he said, the government is committed to holding general election in free, fair and transparent manner.
The names of over 350 foreign observers have already been approved for election monitoring and more are in the process, he added.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2008