Saudi Arabia agrees to join the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Arturo Kim
September 22, 2018

Khan has sought a meeting between Sushma Swaraj and Shah Mehmood Qureshi - the foreign ministers of the two countries - on the sidelines of the UNGA in NY later this month.

Within 24 hours of announcing that the Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers would meet next week in the USA, the government today called off the talks, accusing Pakistan and its prime minister Imran Khan of "evil designs" after three policemen were kidnapped and killed by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan's finance minister, Asad Umar, on Tuesday admitted the economic crisis was deepening before he set off to accompany Mr Khan.

The Indian spokesperson said that India's approval for the meeting "was in response to the spirit reflected in the letters from the new prime minister and foreign minister of Pakistan".

Voicing his great expectations from Pakistan's new PM, Omar Farooqui, Saudi national with Pakistani roots and a UAE resident, said: "I am excited as well as interested in Imran Khan's trip to the region and what sort of political ties he forges going forward".

In view of the changed situation, there would be no meeting between the two foreign ministers in NY, he added.

Tharoor said one has to understand however that he is now Pakistan's Prime Minister with a "fairly clear level of military backing".

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The cancellation of the foreign ministers' meeting came within 24 hours of India announcing that it has accepted the Pakistan PM's request to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a letter for such a meeting.

Pakistan's tensions with the USA stem from allegations the country is harboring terrorist sanctuaries used for attacks against American and local forces in neighboring Afghanistan - charges Pakistani officials reject. Any conversation with Pakistan in such an environment would be meaningless, ' Kumar said in a stinging attack on the new government in Pakistan.

He did not gave further details of the new "partnership", but said Saudi Arabia would have direct investments in major projects under the proposal. There has been an increase in terror attacks targeting policemen and their families in Kashmir in recent months. Incidentally, Pakistan went to polls on July 25 under a caretaker government.

Imran Khan, in his victory speech, had stressed on normal relations between the two nations.

The meeting was scheduled to be held on September 27.

Official sources stated that the highly charged language used in the MEA statement reflected Indian assessment that Imran Khan was "personally behind this mess".

"It will help counter negativism about CPEC emanating from India and the United States, and it also highlights the importance of Pakistan as the pivotal player in regional economic cooperation", Hussain told VOA. "The door has been closed on talks for the time being", admitted sources.

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