Pakistani PM Imran Khan could visit both Iran and Saudi Arabia this month as part of Islamabad’s endeavour to defuse crisis between two power-houses of the Middle East.
According to reports, PM Khan will visit Tehran and Riyadh. The official, who requested anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media, but said the dates of the visits were yet to be finalised. The purpose of the visit was to mediate between Saudi Arabia and Iran, added the official.
Earlier on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, PM Khan met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as part of the diplomatic initiative to defuse the Middle East crisis. To follow up the discussions, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi met his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif at least three times.
Pakistan has been pushing for mediation in the Middle East since it fears that any conflict between the two key Muslim countries would have serious implications for the country. Pakistan enjoys close strategic ties with Saudi Arabia but at the same time consider Iran as an important neighbour.
The New York Times recently reported that Saudi Arabia and Iran have taken steps towards indirect talks to defuse tensions in the Middle East, with Riyadh asking Iraq and Pakistan to speak with the Iranian leadership about de-escalation.