Pakistan reaches out to regional players amid US-Iran standoff

Foreign minister telephones his counterparts in Saudi Arabia, Iran, UAE and Turkey

Our Correspondent January 05, 2020
Foreign minister telephones his counterparts in Saudi Arabia, Iran, UAE and Turkey. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday discussed escalating tensions in the Middle East with his counterparts in Saudi Arabia, Iran, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Turkey.

In wide-ranging exchange of views on the unfolding situation in the region following the killing of Iran’s top commander Maj Gen Qassem Soleimani by the United States on Friday, Qureshi highlighted Islamabad’s deep concern over the recent developments.

Soleimani was the head of Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRCG). He was considered the most powerful figure in Iran after the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.

The unprecedented move by the Trump administration has put the region on the cusp of a major conflict that will surely impact Pakistan as well as other countries, according to experts.

The foreign minister underscored the imperative of avoidance of conflict, exercise of maximum restraint, and de-escalation of tensions during the conversations, said a statement issued by the Foreign Office.

'Pakistan won’t get embroiled in US-Iran conflict'

Qureshi renewed the call on all parties concerned to abide by the UN charter and principles of international law to settle differences through peaceful means.

“Pakistan will neither let its soil be used against any other state nor would it become part of any regional conflict,” he maintained.

Sharing Pakistan’s perspective, the foreign minister expressed the hope that the progress made in the Afghan peace process would be preserved and further advanced.

Foreign Minister Qureshi also reiterated Pakistan’s readiness to continue to play a role in preventing further escalation and maintaining regional peace and stability.

Speaking to a private news channel earlier in the day, Inter-Services Public Relations DG Maj-Gen Asif Ghafoor made it abundantly clear that Pakistan will not become party to the ongoing regional tensions.

“Pakistan will not be a party to anyone or anything but will be a partner of peace and peace alone,” he said.


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