Saudi FM de­nies any me­di­a­tion from Pak­istan

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

Saudi For­eign Min­is­ter Adel al Jubeir has de­nied that Pak­istan me­di­ated be­tween Saudi Ara­bia and Iran amid re­cent ten­sions be­tween the two ri­val coun­tries, me­dia re­ported Mon­day.

Some coun­tries had of­fered to me­di­ate and com­mu­ni­cate ideas be­tween Riyadh and Tehran, how­ever there will be no me­di­a­tion "un­less Iran re­sponds pos­i­tively", the Bahrain News Agency (BNA) re­port quoted Jubeir as say­ing.

In what was de­scribed as a sig­nif­i­cant diplo­matic mis­sion, Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif and and the Chief of Army Staff Gen Ra­heel Sharif last week met the Saudi and Ira­nian lead­er­ships in their re­spec­tive cap­i­tals for what the govern­ment de­scribed as a move for de­fus­ing ten­sions be­tween the two Mus­lim coun­tries that were sparked by ex­e­cu­tion of Saudi dis­si­dent Sheikh Nimr and the sub­se­quent at­tack on Saudi mis­sion in Iran by pro­test­ers.

Jubeir's state­ment is in con­trast to the prime min­is­ter's, who upon the con­clu­sion of his "me­di­a­tion trip" had struck an up­beat tone, say­ing Pak­istan's ini­tia­tive was wel­comed in both cap­i­tals and he ex­pected it to progress. "Saudi lead­er­ship told me that they did not see Iran as an en­emy and I heard sim­i­lar sen­ti­ments from Ira­nian lead­ers, who too are not in favour of ten­sions," the premier said at the time.

"Iran knows what is re­quired from it," the Saudi for­eign min­is­ter said, speak­ing on the side­lines of the first min­is­te­rial ses­sion of Gulf Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil (GCC)In­dia Co­op­er­a­tion Fo­rum. Iran has adopted a hos­tile ap­proach to­wards Arab coun­tries by med­dling in their in­ter­nal affairs, sow­ing sec­tar­ian strife and back­ing ter­ror­ism as con­firmed by nu­mer­ous strong ev­i­dences, Jubeir al­leged.

He was quoted as say­ing that Iran should change its pol­icy and method of deal­ing with its neigh­bours on the prin­ci­ple of good neigh­bourli­ness and re­frain from in­ter­fer­ence in the in­ter­nal affairs of other coun­tries so that the path will be open to build­ing bet­ter re­la­tions with its neigh­bours, he said.

Saudi Ara­bia and some of its al­lies broke off ties with Iran over the em­bassy at­tack ear­lier this month. The United Arab Emi­rates down­graded re­la­tions while some oth­ers re­called their en­voys in protest.

The Ira­nian govern­ment had quickly dis­tanced it­self from the at­tack, say­ing the pro­test­ers had en­tered the Saudi em­bassy de­spite wide­spread ef­forts by the po­lice to stop them. The de­vel­op­ment came two weeks be­fore Iran emerged from years of eco­nomic iso­la­tion when world pow­ers lifted crip­pling sanc­tions against the Is­lamic Re­pub­lic in re­turn for Tehran com­ply­ing with a deal to curb its nu­clear am­bi­tions.

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