Pakistan hails Saudi 'initiative for peace with Iran'

By Islamuddin Sajid

ISLAMABAD (AA) – Pakistan’s prime minister has welcomed Saudi Arabia’s outreach for peace with Iran.

The peace initiative between the two countries will strengthen the global Muslim community, Imran Khan said on Twitter late on Wednesday.

“We welcome the KSA [Kingdom of Saudi Arabia] initiative for peace with Iran. Iran is our neighbor and KSA our closest friend. This peace initiative will strengthen the Muslim Ummah,” he wrote.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in a televised interview this week that his country wants “good relations” with Iran, marking a break from Riyadh’s usually tough stance against Tehran.

“We want a prosperous Iran and to have mutual interests with each other, but our problem is its negative actions, such as its nuclear program or support for outlaw militias in the region, or its ballistic missile program,” he told Al Arabiya TV.

“We are working with our partners to deal with this problem, and we hope to overcome it and have a good and positive relationship with everyone.”

While the prince did not share any further details, British daily The Financial Times recently reported that Saudi and Iranian delegations met in Iraq’s capital Baghdad on April 9.

The secret talks, according to the report, were aimed at easing tensions between the regional rivals, with the attacks on Saudi Arabia by Yemen’s Houthi rebels also part of the discussion.

The two sides agreed to hold another round of talks, the report claimed.