Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Why Is Pakistan Keen To Facilitate Direct Talks Between Iran and Saudi Arabia?

Iran and Saudi Arabia are locked in a fierce confrontation and it is Pakistan that seems to be playing the mediators role. Pakistan is advocating for direct talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran as part of its ongoing diplomatic efforts to defuse tensions in the Middle East.

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Pakistan PM Imran Khan proposed a direct mediation between Iran and Saudi Arabia according to a top Iranian official, who requested anonymity since they were not authorised to speak to the media.

PM Khan told the Iranian leadership that Islamabad is not only ready to facilitate the dialogue but also ready to facilitate direct talks in Islamabad. The Iranian side reportedly expressed their inclination towards the proposal, the official stated.

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Imran Khan is set to take the same proposal to Riyadh where he is slated to meet a close friend and a staunch ally of Pakistan – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

According to experts talking to the EurAsian Times, Pakistan aims to create both goodwill and emerge as a dominant player in the region while also opening-up channels of communication between the Saudi and Iranian authorities following the attacks on the Saudi oil facilities.

Pakistan, having close diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia and being a neighbour to Iran, is increasingly apprehensive that any conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia will have a severe impact on Pakistan.

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The major worry for Pakistan is that any war between Iran and Saudi Arabia will put the government in an awkward situation. As part of the strategic pact, Pakistan is under obligation to support Saudi Arabia if its territorial integrity and sovereignty comes under attack.

But that scenario will put Pakistan in direct conflict with Iran, something that can have calamitous consequences. “Therefore, in order to avoid such a situation, Pakistan is seeking de-escalation in tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

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