ISLAMABAD, Jan 13 (APP):Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Monday while discussing the Middle East situation with Saudi leadership, urged all the sides to exercise maximum restraint, avoid any further escalatory step and find ways for constructive engagement.

As part of his trip to regional countries on the direction of Prime Minister Imran Khan,  Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi visited Riyadh and had an in-depth exchange of views on recent developments with his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, according to a Foreign Office press release.

The foreign minister arrived in Saudi capital on the second leg of his two-nation visit as a day earlier, he visited Tehran where he held separate meetings with President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif and presented Pakistan’s firm stance on not siding with any conflict, but peace.

During the meeting with Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, the foreign minister shared in detail Pakistan’s perspective on the recent developments in the Middle East.

He highlighted the thrust of his diplomatic outreach as part of Prime Minister’s direction that Pakistan must support all efforts aimed at avoiding conflict and resolving differences and disputes through political and diplomatic means.

The foreign minister apprised his Saudi counterpart about his telephonic conversations with the foreign ministers of regional countries, and other diplomatic contacts, noting an overwhelming level of support for efforts for deescalation.

Noting the serious implications for peace and security of recent events, the foreign minister underscored the need for all sides to exercise maximum restraint, avoid taking any further escalatory step, work for defusing tensions, and finding ways for constructive engagement.

As “partner for peace”, the foreign minister stated that Pakistan would support all efforts for peace and provide all possible facilitation for constructive engagement among parties.

Qureshi also thanked for Saudi Arabia’s steadfast support for the Kashmir issue and exchanged views on deepening bilateral cooperation in economic and financial fields.

While discussing the bilateral matters, the foreign minister underscored that the fraternal ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were deep-rooted and multi-faceted and the strategic relationship between the two countries was growing in myriad dimensions.

The Saudi foreign minister reaffirmed the strategic importance of Saudi-Pakistan relations and the resolve to deepen mutual cooperation in all fields.

In the regional context, the Saudi foreign minister welcomed Qureshi’s visit and Pakistan’s support for efforts to defuse tensions, preserve peace and security, and help find a diplomatic way forward.

The two sides agreed to remain engaged and consult closely on issues affecting peace and security in the region and beyond.

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