Pakistan

PM Imran to discuss gulf security issues in meeting with Khamenei, Rouhani

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan would visit Iran on Sunday as part of his initiative to promote peace and security in the region, said a Foreign Office press statement on Saturday.

During the visit, the prime minister would meet with the Iranian leadership, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei and President Dr Hassan Rouhani.

Besides the issues relating to peace and security in the Gulf, bilateral matters and important regional developments will be discussed.

This will be the prime minister’s second visit to Iran this year.

The prime minister also had a bilateral meeting with the Iranian president on the sidelines of the 74th UN General Assembly session in New York last month.

It emerged today that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif  welcomed efforts for mediation with Saudi Arabia ahead of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to the country.

“We’ve always been open to discussing anything with Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is our neighbor. We’re going to be here together permanently,” Zarif said in an interview with TRT World.

The confirmation came after the Foreign Office on Thursday said PM Imran was likely to visit Saudi Arabia and Iran, weeks after Islamabad said Washington had asked it to mediate with Tehran.

The announcement of the possible visit comes after PM Imran last month said that US President Donald Trump had asked him to help defuse tensions in the Middle East.

The prime minister, after a meeting with the US president on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, had said that he was “trying and mediating” and had also spoken with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.

Washington had blamed Tehran for an attack on the world’s biggest crude oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia a few weeks ago.

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