PM Imran leaves for Riyadh on mission to defuse Saudi-Iran tensions

PM Imran leaves for Riyadh on mission to defuse Saudi-Iran tensions

Islamabad (Agencies): Prime Minister Imran Khan left for Saudi Arabia on Tuesday as part of Islamabad’s efforts to defuse tensions between Tehran and Riyadh.

According to the Foreign Office, the prime minister will confer with the Saudi leadership in light of his recent consultations with other leaders. Bilateral ties and other regional developments will also be part of the discussions.

This would be Prime Minister Imran's third visit to Saudi Arabia this year. Earlier, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman paid a state visit to Pakistan in February.

Following the premier’s visit to Iran on Sunday, PM Imran reiterated that Pakistan was ready to act as a facilitator between Iran and Saudi Arabia, to sort out their differences through dialogue.

The prime minister said, “The issue is a complex one but it is possible to sort out differences through dialogue.”

The PM made it clear that Pakistan’s role would be of a facilitator and not a mediator, stressing that it was imperative for everyone not to allow any conflict to take place in the region as he viewed certain vested interests which wanted to flare up tensions in the region.

Tensions have been high between Iran and Saudi Arabia since an attack on the Kingdom’s two oil facilities on September 14 that caused fires and damage.