ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit Saudi Arabia on Sept 19, it emerged on Tuesday.
Accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the prime minister will call upon the top Saudi leadership.
The visit will be succeeded by a subsequent tour to the US where the premier is scheduled to address the world community on Sept 27 at the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Imran telephoned Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and discussed last week’s attacks on two of Kingdom’s oil plants by Yemen-based Iran-aligned Houthi group, in addition to bilateral matters.
According to state-owned Saudi Press Agency (SPA), during the telephonic conversation, the premier offered Pakistan’s full support to the Kingdom following the attack which knocked out half of the country’s oil capacity — more than 5 million barrels a day.
In the follow-up to the attack, oil futures shot up 20 percent when trading began Asia on Monday morning before falling back a little later in the day, the New York Times reported.
US President Trump on Monday addressed the attack and Iran’s alleged role and said that he is on the same page as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who pinned the attack on Kingdom’s regional rival, and is looking at all the intelligence coming in.
“… once everything is analyzed,” he said, “Well then we’re gonna decide what sort of response there would be.”
Later on Monday, Kingdom’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) also issued a statement accusing Iran of backing the attack.
“Initial investigations show Iranian weapons were used in the attack and investigations are ongoing to determine the source of the attack,” the statement said.
However, in its response, Tehran rejected all the claims.
The MoFA statement also thanked the international community for condemning and denouncing the attack and invited the UN and international experts to participate in the investigation.
“The Kingdom affirms that it has the capability and resolve to defend its land and people, and to forcefully respond to these aggressions,” the statement added.