Pakistan ready to play constructive role between Iran, Saudi Arabia

IRNA – Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi says Iran and Saudi Arabia are close friends of Pakistan ‘thus we are ready to play a constructive and positive role to improve their ties.’

He made the remarks while addressing a news conference in Islamabad on Tuesday evening.

Replying to a question posed by IRNA, Qureshi said that he will welcome Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Islamabad, adding that the visit would be fruitful for enhancement of ties between the two countries.

He further added that peace and security at Pak-Iran border is in Pakistan’s interest.

He added that the Iranian foreign minister is arriving in Islamabad on Friday. The foreign minister said that Iranian foreign minister had sent him a message seeking a visit to Pakistan.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi went on to say that the Iranian foreign minister congratulated him on recent election victory of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan. “Mr Zarif also extended his felicitations to me on taking charge of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” he said.

“We have a long border with Iran and wish to have a peaceful, stable shared border,” he noted.

To a question, he said Iran and Saudi Arabia are close Muslim friends of Pakistan and we have been supporting each other on different international fora.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi went on to say that Pakistan is ready to play a constructive and positive role between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

He said that Pakistan has sought an emergent meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to raise the issue of blasphemous caricature contest in the Netherlands.

“Everyone has the same stance on blasphemous caricatures. We will raise the issue at every international forum,” he said.

Qureshi said the government was fully cognizant of the sentiments of the nation and the Muslim Ummah.

He said he also intends on raising the issue at a meeting he is due to attend ‘on the sidelines of New York’ of the Council of Foreign Ministers.

The foreign minister said he also spoke with his Turkish counterpart prior to the news conference.

‘Turkey’s foreign minister congratulated me and we held talks on bilateral issues,” Qureshi said.