Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is all set to embark his trip on Saturday for mediation between Iran and Saudi Arabia, according to officials.
Khan would first travel to Iran where he will have a night stay. His meeting with President Hassan Rouhani has been scheduled for Sunday. He will later in the day go to Riyadh for meetings with the Saudi leadership, Dawn news reported.
Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal confirmed PM Khan’s upcoming trip while speaking to media.
The mediation initiative is being taken at the request of Saudi Arabia. Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman had during Khan’s last visit to Saudi Arabia asked him to help defuse tensions with Iran as Riyadh wanted to avoid war, Faisal added.
Last month on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Khan said that Donald Trump had asked him to mediate with Iran to defuse tensions in the Middle East, though the US president later suggested that it was the Pakistani premier who approached him and nothing was final.
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.