By Muhammad Luqman
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Sunday left for Tehran as a part of his three-country visit aimed at diffusing tensions in the Middle East.
Qureshi will hold talks with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif and other officials on the current situation in the region during his visit, Radio Pakistan reported.
The foreign minister’s visit comes amid heightened tensions between Iran and US after a US strike in Iraq killed top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and the subsequent missile attacks by Iran on US bases in Iraq.
Qureshi will then travel to Riyadh where he will hold talks with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and consult on the issues of regional peace and stability.
During his visits, Qureshi will share Pakistan’s perspective on the current situation by stressing the imperative of avoiding any conflict.
The foreign minister will convey Pakistan’s readiness to support all efforts that facilitate the resolution of differences and disputes through political and diplomatic means.
FM Qureshi will then travel to Washington on Jan 15 where he will meet senior officials of Donald Trump administration to discuss the Middle East crisis.
A day earlier, Qureshi in a statement had said that “Iran’s confession of downing Ukrainian passenger plane should ease up tensions as the region can neither endure tension nor can it tolerate war anymore.”
The foreign minister added Pakistan would play an active role to reduce growing tensions in the region. “On Prime Minister Imran Khan’s instructions, I am going to visit Iran, and we plan on visiting Saudi Arabia and United States shortly after,” he said.