Pakistan wants US-Iran de-escalation, says FM

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WASHINGTON: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in his address at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington on Thursday said that Pakistan wants to play a role to de-escalate US-Iran tension. Shah Mehmood said that Pakistan-US relations are very important. He said that Pakistan was ready to play its role to ease US-Iran tension and shall support all initiatives which bring peace in the region, but it could never again be part of any war. Talking about his recent visits to Iran and Saudi Arabia, Foreign Minister said that Pakistan was actively playing its role in support of efforts for deescalstion and resolution of the issue through diplomacy for peace in the region. He said that Pakistan and the US have a shared interest in working toward peace in Afghanistan. He said that peace and stability in Afghanistan is essential for peace of the entire region. He said that Kashmir is still one of the oldest unresolved issues on United Nation Security Council agenda and added that UNSC resolutions are being violated in India-occupied Kashmir. He said that India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019 are aimed at altering the disputed status of IOJ&K and bringing about demographic change to undermine the right to self-determination of Kashmiris and added that India’s unrestrained oppression has reached unprecedented levels with the inhuman lockdown now in place for over 150 days. Shah Mehmood said that Pakistan is a peace-loving country but our desire for peace should not be considered as weakness by the PJP-led government in India. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and senior Republican Senator Lindsey Graham in a meeting held in Washington D.C, agreed upon the fact that sustained and high-level engagement between Pakistan and the United States was in mutual advantage of the two countries. FM Qureshi and Senator Graham discussed bilateral relations and the regional situation as they met at Capitol Hill late Thursday, said a Foreign Office statement issued here Friday. Foreign Minister Qureshi appreciated Senator Graham’s support for fortifying Pakistan-US strategic partnership.