Selin ATAY-TDO-Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan met Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Tuesday, Saudi state media reported, two days after he visited Iran on a mission to defuse tensions between Riyadh and Tehran. He is expected to act as a facilitator in addressing Saudi-Iran tensions through dialogue and avert any conflict in the Gulf region.
“The prime minister will confer with the Saudi leadership in light of his recent consultations with other leaders. Bilateral ties and other regional developments would also form part of the discussions,” a statement by the Foreign Office said. Saudi state news agency SPA reported Tuesday that Khan and King Salman had discussed “latest developments at the regional and international arenas and efforts exerted towards them”.
Khan on Sunday held talks with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran, where he stressed the importance of avoiding such a conflict.
“Pakistan attaches high importance to bilateral ties with Iran,” the prime minister was quoted as saying by the PTI, during his visit to Iran. “Pakistan is willing to play its role towards strengthening peace and stability in the region.”
“Iran is our neighbor. Our ties with Iran go way back. Saudi Arabia has been one of our closest friends. They have helped us when we have been in need. We do not want a conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia. We recognize that it is a complex issue, but it is something, we feel, can be resolved through dialogue,” the premier said, adding that there are vested interests that want this conflict to take place, but we must not allow it.