Middle East tensions: FM Qureshi meets Pompeo

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FM Qureshi meets Pompeo in Washington 

WASHINGTON: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Friday met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the backdrop of his recent visits to Iran and Saudi Arabia, as Islamabad attempts to pacify tensions in the Middle East. 

Qureshi briefed Pompeo about his recent visit to Iran and Saudi Arabia, where the Pakistani foreign minister held talks with senior-level government officials to de-escalate tensions in the Middle East.

Washington and Iran were about to confront each other militarily after a US drone strike ordered by President Trump killed Al Quds commander Qassem Soleimani. Iran retaliated by firing ballistic missiles at a US military base in Iraq, wounding a couple of American soldiers.

Qureshi told the US Secretary of State that Pakistan was ready to play its part in ensuring peace and stability prevailed in the Middle East. The two diplomats discussed Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir.

“India has held hostage the people of occupied Kashmir since the past five months,” Qureshi reportedly told Pompeo.

He informed Pompeo that India had imposed restrictions in the occupied valley as it wanted to hide the injustices that were being committed against the Kashmiris there.

Qureshi said that only through the resolution of the Kashmir issue could there be durable peace in south Asia. 

Pakistan will not join any war in the region, FM Qureshi tells Iranian President Rouhani

Pakistan has already made it clear that it will not join anyone else’s war.  Qureshi said last week that Pakistan will not join any war in the region but will continue to play a vibrant and positive role for establishment of lasting peace.

Qureshi made the remarks last week when he met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s instructions. 

In his meeting with the Iranian president, FM Qureshi called for “using the diplomatic means” to reduce the tension in the region and “resolve outstanding issues amicably and peacefully”.