Qureshi emphasises need for ‘maximum restraint’ over M-E crisis

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Following the conclusion of his visits to Saudi Arabia and Iran, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi emphasised on the importance of “maximum restraint and immediate steps for de-escalation” by all sides involved in the ongoing Middle East tensions.

Qureshi had embarked on the two-nation visit on the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan after tensions in the Middle East escalated following the killing of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani in a US drone attack on January 3 in Baghdad.

Qureshi, who called on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif separately, had a wide-ranging exchange of views on recent developments in the region. Pakistan-Iran relations were also discussed, reports Dawn news.

The Minister conveyed to the Iranian leadership that “Pakistan appreciated Iran’s preference for de-escalation of tensions and expressed the hope that Iran would continue to act with its traditional wisdom in dealing with the issues at hand”, a statement issued by the Foreign Office (FO) here said on Monday.

Qureshi informed the Iranian leaders about his contacts with his counterparts in the region and said that there was “a general consensus in favour of immediate de-escalation and avoidance of war”.

“Pakistan would not allow its territory to be used against anyone; nor would Pakistan be a part of any war or conflict in the region,” the FO quoted the Minister as saying.

In Riyadh, Qureshi had an “in-depth exchange of views on recent developments” with his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud. During the meeting, bilateral matters were also discussed, according to the FO.

Qureshi apprised the Saudi minister about his telephonic conversations with the foreign ministers of regional countries, and other diplomatic contacts, noting an “overwhelming level of support for efforts for de-escalation”.-IANS News 

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