Nawaz can play pivotal role in solving Saudi-Iran conflict: Ban Ki-moon

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ISLAMABAD: United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon telephoned Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday and urged him to use his good office to resolve the Saudi-Iran conflict, said a statement issued by the PM Office.

Ban told Nawaz he can play a vital role in normalising ties between the regional rivals as the premier has “good relations with both countries,” reads the statement.

It goes on to say that PM Nawaz also briefed the UN secretary general about his recent visits to Riyadh and Tehran in a bid to resolve the conflict.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif visited Saudi Arabia and Iran last month and met their leaders to defuse tension between the two countries that spiralled after the execution of Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr in Saudi Arabia.

In his meeting with Saudi royals, the PM urged the Kingdom to resolve its differences with rival Iran peacefully and stressed that Pakistan is following a policy of promoting brotherhood among members of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC), adding that confrontation damages the larger interest of Muslim Ummah while in Iran, he told media that Pakistan will appoint a focal person on Saudi-Iran issue and sincere efforts are being done in this regard.

Taking his cabinet into confidence over the issue and visits, the premier said that Pakistan’s image abroad had improved due to the ‘untiring efforts’ of his diplomatic team.

But despite the premier’s claims, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir denied that Pakistan mediated between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Bahrain’s state media had reported on January 25.

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