Iran welcomes PM Imran’s mediation efforts

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Staff Report

Islamabad

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has 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.

“We don’t have any choice but to talk to each other, and we have been open to talking to Saudi Arabia either directly or through intermediaries,” Zarif noted.

When asked about PM Imran’s upcoming visit to Tehran, Zarif said, “We’ve never rejected any intermediary… We’ve always been open to mediation, and we’ve always been open to direct talks with our Saudi neighbors.”

As part of his initiative to promote peace and security in the region, Prime Minister Imran Khan will be undertaking a visit to Iran on 13 October 2019.

During the visit, the Prime Minister will have meetings with the Iranian leadership, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei and President Dr. Hassan Rouhani. Besides 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 President of Iran on the sidelines of the 74th UNGA Session in New York in September 2019.

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.

Moreover, Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei said PM Imran was reportedly carrying a message from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Voice of America reported.