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Pakistan In 'No Hurry' To Decide On Saudi Request


Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says Pakistan is "not in a hurry" to decide whether to join a Saudi-led coalition targeting Iran-backed Shi'ite rebels in Yemen.

Sharif said during a parliamentary debate on Yemen on April 7 that he expected diplomatic efforts with "other Muslim countries" would bring results.

He also called on Iran, whose foreign minister is due in Islamabad on April 8, to get involved in international discussions on security in Yemen.

Islamabad revealed on April 6 that Saudi Arabia has asked Pakistan to contribute military aircraft, warships, and ground troop for the campaign against the rebels, known as Huthis.

During the parliamentary debate that began on April 6, no lawmaker has spoken in favor of sending troops.

Saudi Arabia, the Gulf's main Sunni Muslim power and Sunni-majority Pakistan have close ties.

Last year, Saudi Arabia gave Pakistan $1.5 billion. Saudi Arabia also sheltered Sharif after he was overthrown in a 1999 military coup.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP
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