Pakistan minister in Riyadh to discuss regional tensions

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi (L) hold talks with Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud. (SPA)
Short Url
Updated 13 January 2020

Pakistan minister in Riyadh to discuss regional tensions

  • Any conflict in Mideast will affect Afghan peace process: Qureshi

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi was welcomed in Riyadh on Monday by his Saudi counterpart, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud, Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) said on Monday.

Qureshi expressed concern over the mounting tension in the Gulf region and “stressed the peaceful resolution of issues through diplomatic means in order to normalize the situation and ensure regional peace and stability,” the FO said.
He also apprised his Saudi counterpart of his contact with other foreign ministers in the region and said that any conflict
could “affect the Afghan peace process, which has entered a critical stage.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan had said last week that he had instructed Qureshi to travel to Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United States to convey Pakistan’s willingness to play a constructive role for peace in the region.
On the first leg of this peace mission Qureshi met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Iranian FM Javad Zarif in Tehran on Sunday, where Qureshi shared Pakistan’s perspective in detail and emphasized the importance of maximum restraint and the immediate steps for de-escalation by all sides, the FO said.
Qureshi reiterated that “Pakistan would not allow its territory to be used against anyone, nor would Pakistan be a part of any war or conflict in the region,” stressing that “Pakistan could only be a partner for peace.”
Islamabad-based political analyst Zahid Hussain told Arab News on Monday that Qureshi’s visits to Tehran, Riyadh, and Washington were part of PM Khan’s regional mediation promise made to Trump during the UN General Assembly session in New York.
However, he said that “Pakistan’s role is limited given the complexities of the crisis.”
Senior diplomat Javed Hafeez said: “Saudi Arabia is the most important nation on the southern side of Gulf, (and) can play a vital role for peace and stability.”
He said that the meeting between the foreign ministers of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia is vital in the current situation.
Qureshi is scheduled to fly to the US on Jan. 16.
The restive Middle East region found itself on the brink of another conflict in the beginning of January, when the US killed top Iranian military commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in an attack authorized by US President Donald Trump.
Soleimani was a high-profile figure in his country and was thought to be the man behind Tehran’s military influence in the region.
He was killed in a drone strike in Baghdad, only a few days after the American Embassy in Iraq was targeted by pro-Iranian militiamen.


Saudi Cabinet voices support for the territorial sovereignty of Cyprus

King Salman chairs the Cabinet session on Tuesday. The meeting reviewed the Kingdom’s economic progress. (SPA)
Updated 22 January 2020

Saudi Cabinet voices support for the territorial sovereignty of Cyprus

  • Kingdom calls for security to be maintained in the region

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has voiced its support for Cyprus’ territorial sovereignty amid growing tensions following the discovery of oil and gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean.

The Saudi Cabinet, chaired by King Salman, on Tuesday said it was watching developments in the eastern Mediterranean “with great interest,” and called for security and stability to be maintained in the region.
The Cabinet also reviewed the Kingdom’s progress among 190 economies in the World Bank’s Women, Business and the Law 2020 report, which placed it first among GCC countries and second in the Arab world on legislative reforms relating to women.
Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 program supports the implementation of reforms that enhance women’s role in economic development, raising the Kingdom’s competitiveness regionally and globally.
Minister of Media Turki bin Abdullah Al-Shabanah said the Cabinet reviewed several reports on developments in regional and international arenas.
The Cabinet reiterated the Kingdom’s assertion during the fourth session of the Arab Parliament in Cairo that its policy is based on the principles of peaceful coexistence and good neighborliness, full respect for the sovereignty and independence of states, noninterference in their internal affairs, and its belief that these principles are capable of resolving all conflicts, foremost the Arab-Israeli conflict.

HIGHLIGHT

The Cabinet reviewed efforts to promote political solutions to crises in Syria, Yemen, Libya and Sudan, calling on all to take action to address destabilizing foreign threats and interventions.

The Cabinet also reviewed efforts to promote political solutions to crises in Syria, Yemen, Libya and Sudan, calling on all to take action to address destabilizing foreign threats and interventions and to “move forward toward the aspirations of security, stability and development of Arab countries and their peoples.”
On regional affairs, the Cabinet condemned an attack on a military site in Niger, the bombing of a security checkpoint and a tax collection center in Somalia, and the terrorist strike by Houthi militia on a mosque in the Marib governorate, which resulted in dozens of deaths and injuries.
The Cabinet session also authorized the minister of foreign affairs or his deputy to sign a draft protocol on establishing diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Zimbabwe.
An agreement on social development between the the Kingdom and Tunisia was also approved along with a memorandum of understanding for scientific and technical cooperation with Spain.
The Cabinet also approved an agreement for scientific and geological cooperation between the Saudi Geological Survey and the Russian State Geological Company.