'Resolve issues through diplomatic means', Pakistan urges Iran

Muslim world needs to eliminate terrorist elements and reverse extremism to improve its image, says FM Qureshi

News Desk May 31, 2019
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi (second left) on the eve of the Islamic Summit Conference in Makkah. PHOTO: SPA

Pakistan has urged Iran to exercise restraint and resolve issues through diplomatic means.

“My message to him [Iran's foreign minister] was: restraint, calm and resolution of issues through diplomatic channels," Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said while speaking with the Saudi newspaper, Arab News, on the sidelines of the 14th Summit of the Orgnisation Islamic Conference (OIC) in Makkah on Wednesday.

"Conflict will not pay. It will only aggravate the situation,”he added.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had met FM Qureshi in Islamabad on May 24 to discuss rising tensions between Iran and the United States.

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When he was asked to comment on Iran’s role in the escalating tension in the Gulf region, Qureshi said that any country isolating itself from the rest of the Muslim world “because of pursuing a particular policy” was going to suffer negative consequences.

However, he added: “Iran is part of the region. It is a country that you have to live with. We share a border with them, so we recognise the challenges. But we have to see how those tensions can be defused and resolved.”

Pakistan, the foreign minister said, is willing to play a role to help resolve some of the region’s “long-standing issues” between Muslim countries. "Our message is that we have to join hands; we have to understand each other’s concerns and have a collective objective of peace and stability so that our region can develop like other parts of the world."

It is important, he further said, for the Muslim world to improve its international image.

“We have to eliminate terrorist elements, and we have to reverse extremism,” he said.

At the same time he raised some questions:“Why is the world looking at us in a particular way? And how can we get rid of that image to make the world look at us positively?”

Forums such as the Islamic Summit Conference and Arab League meetings provide vital opportunities to answer such questions, he suggested. “These meeting are very important... And they will provide ample opportunity for all of us to achieve our goals.”

The article originally appeared in Arab News


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