Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has stressed that Pakistan will not join any war in the region but will continue to play a vibrant and positive role for establishment of lasting peace.
He made the remarks late on Sunday when he met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran amid heightened tensions in the Middle East following the US assassination of a top Iranian general earlier this month, officials of Pakistan embassy in Tehran confirmed yesterday.
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 base in Iraq.
Following the developments, Prime Minister Imran Khan directed Qureshi to meet with Iranian and Saudi leaders to underscore the need for immediate and collective efforts for a peaceful resolution of disputes.
In his meeting with the Iranian president, Qureshi called for “using the diplomatic means” to reduce the tension in the region and “resolve outstanding issues amicably and peacefully”.
During the meeting, which encompassed the US-Iran tension, regional peace and the multifaceted Pak-Iran ties, the foreign minister said both the countries enjoyed “deep historic, religious, cultural brotherhood”.
In reference to recent statements made by the Iranian leadership, the minister appreciated the restraint shown by Tehran and said that the region could not afford any more tension or confrontation.
“Pakistan will not join any war in the region; however, it will continue playing a vibrant and positive role for establishment of peace in the region,” the minister told Rouhani.
Qureshi also thanked Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Rouhani for supporting Pakistan and raising their voice against the alleged atrocities in Indian-administered Kashmir.
Appreciating the remarks of Qureshi, Rouhani lauded the peace building efforts by Pakistan and clarified that Iran did not want to increase the tensions in the region.
In a message posted on Twitter yesterday, Qureshi said that he had a constructive and positive meeting with the Iranian President on Sunday in which he reiterated the need to deescalate tensions.
“We are committed to exercising every diplomatic effort to achieve regional security and are clear Pakistan soil will not be used for war,” the minister said.
Qureshi was later scheduled to visit Riyadh to hold talks with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and consult on issues of regional peace and stability.
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