Tue, 19 Nov 2019

Islamabad [Pakistan], Oct 15 (ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on late Tuesday arrived in Saudi Arabia on a day-long visit as part of his efforts to defuse tensions between Riyadh and Tehran.

The prime minister is scheduled to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman during his visit, The News International reported.

After he landed at Riyadh airport, Khan was received at the royal terminal by Riyadh Governor Faisal bin Bandar Al Saud, minister of state Musaad bin Mohammed Al Aiban, the Pakistani ambassador to Saudi Arabia and other officials.

The prime minister is accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and other officials.

Khan undertook the visit to Saudi Arabia two days after he visited Iran.

Shortly after his arrival, Khan held talks with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in Riyadh.

"Bilateral ties and other regional developments would also form part of the discussions," Pakistan's Foreign Office said in a statement.

A day before, the prime minister held meetings with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and offered to facilitate talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are bound in a fraternal relationship marked by mutual trust and understanding, close cooperation, and an abiding tradition of supporting each other.

This would be Prime Minister Imran Khan's third visit to Saudi Arabia this year.

His earlier visits were in May and September 2019. From the Saudi side, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman paid a state visit to Pakistan in February 2019.

Tensions in the region have been high for months, following US President Donald Trump's decision to impose crushing sanctions that target Iran's crude oil sales and have crippled its economy. Those sanctions came after Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers last year.

The tensions culminated in a September 14 attack on key Saudi oil infrastructure that halved the kingdom's oil production. (ANI)

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