Imran Khan discusses Iran-Saudi issue with King Salman and MBS Kingdom never asked Pakistan for mediation: FO spokesman


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan returned back to Pakistan on Wednesday after his day-long official visit to Saudi Arabia where he met with the Saudi leadership. 

The prime minister met with King Salman bin Abdulaziz on Tuesday. “During the meeting, the two leaders discussed bilateral relations, peace and security in the region, and political developments in the world,” the foreign office said in a statement after the meeting. “They also discussed enhancing bilateral cooperation,” the statement added.

The foreign office said, “the prime minister stressed the need to resolve disputes and conflicts through political and diplomatic efforts for regional peace and stability.”

The statement did not say how King Salman responded to Mr Khan’s suggestion. Saudi Arabia has in the past shunned such initiatives by Pakistan. But earlier  Pakistan’s foreign office on Friday rejected media reports that Saudi Arabia had asked Pakistan to play a mediatory role to defuse tensions with Iran. “These reports are without any basis as no such letter or message was conveyed, nor has Saudi Arabia asked Pakistan to play any mediatory role with Iran,” the foreign office said.

PM Khan also held a separate meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during his visit. “The Prime Minister reiterated the resolve to further deepen bilateral trade, cooperation in the energy and investment fields, and people-to-people contacts,” the statement read.

Referring to the evolving situation in the Gulf, the Prime Minister stressed the importance of avoidance of military conflict and the constructive engagement of all parties. The Prime Minister conveyed Pakistan’s readiness to facilitate efforts for de-escalation of tensions and resolution of differences and disputes through peaceful means.

The prime minister also apprised the Saudi ruler of the situation in Kashmir.
The Pakistani delegation accompanying premier Khan during his Riyadh visit comprises Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, special assistant to prime minister on overseas Pakistanis, Zulfiqar Bukhari, and other senior officials, the foreign office said in its statement.

Earlier, Imran Khan was received by the governor of Riyadh, Faisal bin Bandar Al Saud, and member of the Council of Ministers, Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban, at the King Khalid International Airport on Tuesday.
Soon after his arrival, the prime minister met with King Salman bin Abdulaziz to discuss matters of mutual interest.
A day earlier, during his Tehran visit, the Pakistani premier reiterated that his country was ready to play the role of a “facilitator and not a mediator” to ease tensions in the region. He also said that his meeting with the Iranian leadership made him hopeful that peace will prevail in the Arabian Gulf.

According to joint communiqué, PM Imran Khan urged all the Gulf states to avert prospective military conflict. All the stake holders in Gulf states should resolve the  disputes through talks.

The joint communiqué further said PM Imran Khan highlighted importance of historical and cultural ties between  Pakistan and Iran besides reiterating the resolve to bolster up cooperation in diverse  sectors.

PM Imran Khan apprised President Rouhani of August 5 Indian steps. He said that the peace and security of the region is at stake in the wake of prevailing situation in Kashmir.