FM Qureshi to meet UN secretary-general, UNGA president during brief visit to New York Wednesday

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 14 (APP):Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who is currently on a mission aimed at defusing the tensions between Iran and the United States, is arriving in New York on Wednesday morning to meet UN leaders before proceeding to Washington, according to official sources.
During his stay, the foreign minister will meet UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the President of the UN General Assembly, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande. He is set to depart for Washington Wednesday evening.
At the regular briefing Tuesday, UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric confirmed the UN chief’s meeting with the foreign minister tomorrow afternoon, saying it was taking place at the request of the Pakistani Mission.
Responding to questions, the spokesman said that the secretary-general had been advocating dialogue between India and Pakistan to resolve their outstanding problems and that any solution should take into account the human rights situation in Kashmir.
The foreign minister has already visited Iran and Saudi Arabia where he meet leaders of the two countries in an effort to ease tensions in the region after the killing of top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike.
Qureshi embarked on the mission as tensions mounted across the Middle East following the 62-year-old general’s death in Iraq, and Iran’s admission that it shot down an airliner by mistake, killing 176 people on board.
“Recent developments seriously endanger peace and security in an already volatile region and underscore the need for immediate and collective efforts for a peaceful resolution,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office said in a statement as Qureshi left for Tehran on the first leg of his trip.
The new developments in the Middle East took place amid high tensions between India and Pakistan following New Delhi’s annexation of occupied Kashmir which remains under a punishing lockdown since August 5. Making the situation more dangerous, India has stepped up its violations of the Line-of-Control in the disputed Kashmir region.
In a statement on August 8, the UN secretary-general voiced concern over the situation and said, “The position of the United Nations on this region is governed by the Charter of the United Nations and applicable Security Council resolutions.”
“The secretary-general also recalls the 1972 Agreement on bilateral relations between India and Pakistan, also known as the Simla Agreement”, the statement had said, “which states that the final status of Jammu and Kashmir is to be settled by peaceful means”, in accordance with the UN Charter.
The UN chief said he was “concerned over reports of restrictions on the Indian-side of Kashmir, which could exacerbate the human rights situation in the region”, and called on “all parties to refrain from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir.”
On August 16, the UN Security Council also considered the volatile situation surrounding Kashmir, addressing the issue in a meeting focused solely on the dispute, within the UN body dedicated to resolving matters of international peace and security, for the first time since 1965.
Although the meeting took place behind closed doors in New York, the Chinese Ambassador, Zhang Jun, spoke to reporters outside the chamber following deliberations, urging both India and Pakistan to “refrain from taking any unilateral action which might further aggravate” what was an already “tense and very dangerous” situation.