News ID: 260000
Published: 0810 GMT October 10, 2019

Pakistani PM trying to mediate peace in Persian Gulf

Pakistani PM trying to mediate peace in Persian Gulf

There are reports that Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to visit Iran and Saudi Arabia to defuse tensions in the Persian Gulf which according to political observers would be a huge diplomatic achievement if Islamabad succeeds in its efforts.

The reports said that the dates of the visits were yet to be finalized but the purpose of the visit is to mediate between Tehran and Riyadh, IRNA reported.

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

Prime Minister Imran Khan during his visit to New York had also stated that both the United States and Saudi Arabia asked him to mediate with Iran to defuse tensions.

This would be second attempt of Pakistan to defuse tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia. In 2016 the then Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif, accompanied by the then Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, visited Saudi Arabia and Iran to mediate between the two states.

Daily Express Tribune in its report said that tensions have been brewing between Tehran and Riyadh since the Saudi oil facilities were struck by missiles last month. Both Saudi Arabia and the United States blamed Iran for the drone strikes — a charge Tehran has strongly rebutted.

It said the drone strikes targeting Saudi Arabia oil facilities have raised the specter of direct conflict between Tehran and Riyadh.

But Pakistan and certain other countries have been trying to mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

It added on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session, the prime minister met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as part of the diplomatic push to defuse the Middle East tensions. To follow up the discussions, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi thrice met his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif in New York.

Another official said Pakistan remained in contact with both Tehran and Riyadh to find a negotiated settlement of their current crises. Against this backdrop, the prime minister would now visit Tehran and Riyadh.

At said if the prime minister succeeds in brokering some kind of a deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia that would be seen as a huge diplomatic success for Islamabad.

Pakistan has been pushing for mediation in the Middle East since it fears that any conflict between the two key Muslim countries would have serious implications for the country.

Pakistan enjoys close strategic ties with Saudi Arabia but at the same time considers Iran as an important neighbor.

Observers believe that the fact Prime Minister Imran is visiting both Iran and Saudi Arabia suggests that there must have been some ‘positive movement’ with regard to Pakistan’s mediation efforts.

   
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