Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday welcomed Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s offer to act as a “facilitator” between Tehran and Riyadh.
“I told Prime Minster Imran we welcome any gesture by Pakistan for peace in the region and appreciate his visit to our country,” said Rouhani at a joint press conference with the premier.
Rouhani said that the two leaders had discussed, among other things, the war in Yemen and the sanctions by the United States on Iran.
“We also discussed how the nuclear deal could be restored,” added Rouhani.
Premier Pakistan thanked Rouhani for speaking up for the people of occupied Kashmir at the UN General Assembly in New York, where the two leaders also held a meeting on the sidelines.
Khan, for his part, called the facilitation offer “Pakistan’s own initiative,” saying he felt encouraged after his meeting with Rouhani.
“I will go to Saudi Arabia with a positive mind. We would like to play the role of a facilitator and not mediator. We want to facilitate two brotherly Islamic countries,” the Pakistani premier said.
“We recognise that it is a complex issue but we feel that it can be resolved through dialogue. What should never happen is a war between Saudi Arabia and Iran because this will not just affect this whole region — two brotherly countries will be affected — this will cause poverty in the world. Oil prices will go up, Khan added.
Previously, some media reports claimed that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman requested Khan to play his role to end conflict with Iran.
Tension has escalated in the Gulf after drones hit two oil facilities in northern Saudi Arabia on Sept. 14
Iran-backed Houthi rebel group in Yemen had claimed responsibility for the attack, but the U.S. has since blamed Iran, as has Saudi Arabia. The Islamic Republic has denied any connection to the strikes.