FM Qureshi meets Saudi counterpart in attempt to defuse regional tensions

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RIYADH: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Monday met his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud as part of Pakistan’s efforts to help defuse tensions in the Middle East amid heightened hostility between Iran and the US.

Foreign Secretary Sohail Mehmood, Pakistani envoy Raja Ali Ejaz, and other officials from Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs were also present during the meeting.

 

On Sunday, Qureshi met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran following the killing of a top Iranian general in a US drone strike earlier this month.

In his meeting with the Iranian president, FM Qureshi called for “using the diplomatic means” to reduce the tensions in the region and “resolve outstanding issues amicably and peacefully”.

Tensions between Iran and the United States have spiked in recent weeks after the US killed Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad. Iran retaliated by targeting a US troops base in Iraq.

Following the developments, Prime Minister Imran Khan had directed Qureshi to meet with Iranian and Saudi leaders to underscore the need for immediate and collective efforts for a peaceful resolution of disputes.

During the meeting, which encompassed the US-Iran tensions, regional peace and the multifaceted Pak-Iran ties, the foreign minister said both the countries enjoyed “deep historic, religious, cultural brotherhood”.

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