Oct 16, 2019, 7:19 PM
Journalist ID: 2053
News Code: 83520621
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Pakistan PM’s peace initiative, a success: FM Qureshi  

Islamabad, Oct 16, IRNA -- Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi says Prime Minister Imran Khan’s initiative for peace in Persian Gulf has proved to be a success as both Iran and Saudi Arabia have agreed to pursue diplomatic options to resolve disputes.

Speaking at a news conference in Islamabad on Wednesday, Qureshi said Pakistan’s main purpose of the diplomatic initiative was to prevent any escalation in the region.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has also appreciated the efforts of Prime Minister Imran Khan for peace and stability in the region.

In a tweet, the Iranian foreign minister expressed his gratitude to Khan for his efforts to promote peace in the region.

"Pakistan’s main purpose of the diplomatic initiative was to prevent any escalation in tensions. I can say with authority that we have achieved that objective," Mehmood Qureshi told reporters.

He said this after Prime Minister Imran Khan wrapped up his visit to Saudi Arabia as part of Islamabad’s efforts to defuse tensions in the Persian Gulf region.

“Pakistan enjoys strong ties with both brotherly Islamic countries of Iran and Saudi Arabia. Iran is our close friend and neighbor whereas Saudi Arabia is our strategic partner, Qureshi added.

The foreign minister added that this region cannot afford any new conflict. He said that any conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia would not only engulf the entire region but the global economy as well. 

He noted that any unrest in the region would have a direct impact on oil prices. 

“So PM Imran Khan went to Iran keeping in view the latest developments and engaged with the Iranian leaders and also held a separate meeting with Supreme Leader (of the Islamic Revolution) Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei,” said Qureshi.

He said Iranian leaders during the visit had told the Prime Minister that they don’t want tensions with Riyadh and want to resolve all issues with the country through peaceful means. 

“Iranians say they are ready for talks with Saudi Arabia directly or through any third party,” he said.

He added that the prime minister after getting a positive response from Iran went to Saudi Arabia and had useful meetings with Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman during which he presented Pakistan's standpoint, discussed the region's needs and relayed Iran's sentiments to them," said the foreign minister.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan’s diplomatic initiative has successfully prevented threats of an immediate conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

“We realized there was no easy solution to the conflict, which had seen many interventions from Pakistan and the international community in the past,” said the minister.

"Yesterday's meeting was very encouraging and I believe the one thing we agreed upon was that a peaceful, diplomatic process will be given preference. And all misunderstandings must be resolved through dialogue," said Qureshi.

He said that a mechanism for a way forward is currently under deliberation.

He noted that there are bright chances of an end to the Yemen war.

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has also welcomed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s initiative to de-escalate tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Talking to media in New York, a spokesman of UN Secretary-General said, the UN chief welcomes any such effort as a matter of principle.

Pakistan Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal while responding to a question of IRNA during his weekly news briefing had said, peace and stability in the region "is our desire and we will do our best".


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