Chief Editor: Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

PM Imran leaves for Riyadh today to facilitate Iran-Saudi talks

ISLAMABAD (DNA) – Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan will leave for Riyadh today (Tuesday) to take Saudi leadership into confidence over talks with Iran in a bid to defuse escalating gulf tensions.According to sources, the premier will hold key meetings with Saudi leadership to devise solutions for reducing crisis between Saudi Arabia and Iran.Earlier during press conference in Tehran, PM Imran warned, “Any conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia would cause poverty in the world.””Pakistan suffered 70,000 casualties in the last 15 years in the war on terror, Afghanistan is still suffering, there is terrible devastation in Syria — we don’t want another conflict in this part of the world,” he asserted.

Emphasizing that the visits to Tehran and Riyadh were Pakistan’s “initiative”, Khan said he was also approached by US President Donald Trump to “facilitate some sort of dialogue between Iran and the United States”.

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said, “I told Prime Minster Imran we welcome any gesture by Pakistan for peace in the region and appreciate his visit to our country.” He said that the two leaders had discussed the war in Yemen and the sanctions imposed by the United States on Iran among many other issues.

“Regional issues have to be resolved through regional means and dialogue. We also emphasized that any goodwill gesture will be responded with goodwill gesture and good words,” said the Iranian president.

Pakistan has strong relations with Saudi Arabia, with more than 2.5 million of its nationals living and working in the kingdom, but it also maintains good relations with Iran and represents Tehran’s consular interests in the United States (US).