Dubai : Oman has declared its participation into Saudi’s ‘anti-terrorism war’ and ‘Gulf Army’. Oman’s Defense Minister ‘Badr Bin Saud Al-Busaidi’ declared their decision in a letter to Saudi Arabia. Surprise is being expressed at this ally of Iran joining Saudi-led group. Meanwhile, Pakistani media has been claiming that Pakistan’s ex-army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif has been appointed to head the Saudi-backed ‘Gulf Army’.
A total of 39 Arab-Gulf, African and south-east Asian countries have participated in Saudi-led Gulf army formed in in December 2015. Underlining the increasing threat of terrorism to Arab-Gulf countries, Gulf Army was created on lines of NATO. Till now, Iran and Iran supporter countries like Iraq and Oman had not participated in this union.
But, now Oman too has declared to participate in this defense union established under leadership of Saudi. In last two days, diplomatic discussions have been taking place among the Oman and Saudi leadership. Post this Oman’s Defence Ministry gave its nod to participation and Oman’s Foreign Ministry made the declaration. Oman’s Foreign Ministry further declared that Oman will cooperate with its neighboring countries for peace and security of the Gulf region. Oman’s decision has taken number of members of ‘Gulf Army’ to 40.
As per the information published by one of the newspaper in Pakistan, Pakistan’s ex-Army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif who retired a month ago has been shouldered with a big responsibility by Saudi Arabia. He has been selected to head the ‘Gulf Army’. As per the news in one of Pakistani newspaper, he received a warm welcome on arrival at Riyadh airport and currently too is in Saudi . Although neither Pakistan nor Saudi Arabia has given any reaction to this news.
Last year, Saudi and U.A.E. had invited Pakistan to participate in this military group. But Pakistan had rejected this proposal as it wanted to avoid interfering in Saudi-Yemen conflict. Pakistan’s decision had attracted strong criticism from Arab countries as well as few analysts in Pakistan.