Pakistan will play a positive role rather than joining war: FM Qureshi to Iranian President

The Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Sunday that Pakistan will continue to play a vibrant and positive role for establishment of lasting peace rather than joining any war in the region.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi made the remarks late on Sunday when he met the President of Iran Hassan Rouhani in Tehran amid heightened tensions in the Middle East following the assassination of a top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani earlier this month.

Tensions between both the countries Iran and the United States have spiked in recent weeks after the Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani was killed by the US in a drone strike in Baghdad. Iran retaliated by targeting a US base in Iraq.

Following the developments, Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan had directed FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi to meet with the leaders of Iran and Saudi Arabia in order to underscore the need for immediate and collective efforts for a peaceful resolution of disputes.

In his meeting with the president of Iran, FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi called for “using the diplomatic means” to reduce the tension in the region and “resolve outstanding issues amicably and peacefully”.

The meeting encompassed the US-Iran tension, multifaceted Pak-Iran ties and the regional peace. During the meeting, the foreign minister said that both the countries enjoyed “deep historic, religious, cultural brotherhood”.

In reference to recent statements made by the leadership of Iran, the Foreign Minister Qureshi appreciated the restraint shown by Tehran and said that the region could not afford any more tension or confrontation.

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The minister told Rouhani, “Pakistan will not join any war in the region; however, it will continue playing a vibrant and positive role for establishment of peace in the region.”

FM Qureshi also thanked Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Rouhani for their support for Pakistan and for raising their voice against the Indian atrocities in Indian occupied Kashmir.

Appreciating the remarks of FM Qureshi, Rouhani lauded the peace building efforts by Pakistan and clarified that Iran did not want to increase the tensions in the region.

In a message posted on Twitter early Monday, FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that a constructive and positive meeting was held by him with the Iranian President on Sunday in which he reiterated the need to deescalate tensions.

“We are committed to exercising every diplomatic effort to achieve regional security and are clear Pakistan soil will not be used for war,” the foreign minister said in the message for his followers on Twitter.

The Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will also visit Riyadh today to hold talks with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and consult on the issues of regional peace and stability.

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