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Developments in Mideast may seriously impact regional peace: Pak FM Qureshi tells UK minister 

Qureshi underlined the importance of 'maximum restraint' and steps for de-escalation of tensions by all sides.

Published: 22nd January 2020 08:22 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd January 2020 08:22 PM   |  A+A-

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi (File Photo | AFP)

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi (File Photo | AFP)

By PTI

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday told his British counterpart Dominic Raab that the recent developments in the Middle East could have serious impact on the regional peace and security.

Qureshi held a telephonic conversation with the British Foreign Secretary and discussed a wide range of regional and bilateral issues of mutual interest, the Foreign Office said in a statement.

The foreign minister briefed Raab on the evolving security situation of the region and "shared Pakistan's concern over the latest developments in the Middle East/Gulf region, which carried serious implications for the peace and security as well as world economy", it said.

Qureshi underlined the importance of "maximum restraint" and steps for de-escalation of tensions by all sides.

He also apprised the UK foreign secretary of Pakistan's efforts to defuse tensions in the region through active diplomatic engagement with relevant parties.

Raab appreciated Pakistan's efforts to defuse tensions and secure peace and security in the region.

Earlier this month, Qureshi had embarked on a two-day visit to Iran and Saudi Arabia on Prime Minister Imran Khan's direction as part of Pakistan's efforts to defuse the tensions in the Gulf region following the killing of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike.

The unexpected US strike, ordered by President Donald Trump, that killed Iran's most powerful military commander Soleimani on January 3 brought the entire Gulf region closer to a full-blown conflict.

Regional tensions remain high after Iran on January 8 fired missiles at two bases in Iraq used by US forces in retaliation for the killing of Soleimani.

The ongoing crisis turned a tragic toll when Iran, just after attacking the Iraqi bases, accidentally shot down an Ukraine International Airlines plane, killing all 176 people aboard.

After days of denial, Tehran on January 11 admitted to "human error" in bringing down the Boeing 737.

The Guards' aerospace commander General Amirali Hajizadeh also accepted full responsibility for the tragedy.

Qureshi also briefed Raab on Pakistan's efforts in the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

He also raised the Kashmir issue and "highlighted the human rights and humanitarian situation in the region and urged UK to play its role in peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute", the Foreign Office statement said.

The two sides agreed to continue to work together to strengthen bilateral cooperation and to ensure peace and security in the region, it said.

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