By staff and agency

Islamabad continues efforts to mediate between Iran, Saudi Arabia: Pakistan Today

December 14, 2019 - 19:35

Imran Khan, the Pakistani prime minister, was scheduled to visit Riyadh on a one-day trip on Saturday as part of continued efforts to mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia, Pakistan Today reported on Friday.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, accompanied by the head of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), visited Riyadh on Wednesday and is believed to have laid the ground for the premier’s visit, the newspaper reported.

This would be Prime Minister Imran’s fourth visit to Saudi Arabia since May.

Khan visited Tehran on October 13 to “facilitate” possible dialogue between Iran and Saudi Arabia which have been at loggerheads over a number of issues including the Saudi war on Yemen and Riyadh’s support for the U.S. President Donald Trump’s anti-Iran moves.

Khan met with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani.

Qureshi has said that Iran and Saudi Arabia should bridge differences.

In an interview with Aaj News in October, Qureshi said that Pakistan will continue efforts in line with reducing tension in Iran-Saudi Arabia relations.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric has said that Antonio Guterres, the UN secretary-general, welcomes Khan’s initiative to de-escalate tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

On October 12, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said Tehran is ready for talks with Saudi Arabia with or without a mediator.

During a joint press conference with Khan in Tehran on October 13, Rouhani, without mentioning Saudi Arabia, suggested that Iran will give a positive response to “good intention”.

Rouhani said Iran “welcomes efforts by the Pakistani prime minister to settle tensions in the region” and “restore peace and stability”.

During a separate meeting with Khan, Ayatollah Khamenei said that ending the war on Yemen will have positive effects on the Middle East region.

The Leader said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran presented a four-point plan to end the war in Yemen a long time ago and if this war ends in the right way, it can have positive effects on the region.”

NA/PA

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