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Pak FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi in Riyadh to defuse Saudi-Iran tensions

The two countries are at loggerheads since Saudi oil facilities came under missile attacks in September. Saudi Arabia and the US were quick to blame Iran for the attack.

SNS | New Delhi |

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday held talks with his Saudi counterpart in Riyadh in what appears to be a visit linked to Islamabad’s efforts to seek de-escalation in rising tensions in the Persian Gulf region.

According to the statement issued by the Foreign Office, Qureshi met Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, during which regional and international issues were discussed, The Express Tribune reported.

A separate statement issued by the Saudi official news agency said the foreign ministers reviewed bilateral relations between the two “brotherly countries” and ways of enhancing them in all fields.

The two countries are at loggerheads since Saudi oil facilities came under missile attacks in September. Saudi Arabia and the US were quick to blame Iran for the attack.

Pakistan has since been making efforts to facilitate dialogue between the two countries. Prime Minister Imran Khan made a stopover in Saudi Arabia on his way to the annual UN General Assembly session in New York in September to meet Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.

In New York, he held meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rowhani to defuse tensions between Tehran and Riyadh.

In October, Prime Minister Imran paid his visit to Iran while in November Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa also undertook a visit to Iran and met its top civil and military leadership.

All such diplomatic manoeuvres, observers believed, were aimed at avoiding any conflict in the Persian Gulf region.

Tensions have been brewing between Tehran and Riyadh since the missile attacks on Saudi oil facilities last month. Both Saudi Arabia and the US have blamed Iran for the drone strikes, claimed by the Houthi rebels. However, Tehran has strongly rebutted the charges.

Pakistan and certain other countries have been trying to mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Pakistan traditionally has strong relations with Saudi Arabia but also maintains friendly ties with Iran.

(With inputs from agency)