Prime Minister Imran Khan met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani after reaching Tehran, Iran for a one-day trip Sunday.
Both leaders held “wide-ranging consultations” during the meeting, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s official Twitter account said.
“Pakistan attaches high importance to bilateral ties with Iran,” the prime minister was quoted as saying by the PTI. “Pakistan is willing to play its role towards strengthening peace and stability in the region.”
The trip is part of his initiative to promote peace and security in the region.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif received the prime minister at the airport.
PM Khan and the Iranian president addressed the media in Tehran after their meeting.
The Iranian president thanked PM Khan for visiting Iran to discuss the Gulf security issue. “We openly welcome any move to provide peace in the region. We are ready to assist Pakistan,” he said.
PM Khan said that the two leaders discussed trade and bilateral ties and how the two countries can help each other. He said Pakistan still remembers Iran’s support to it in 1965 when the country was facing hostilities.
He thanked the government of Iran for supporting the people of Kashmir, who are under a curfew for more than two months now. “Thank you for speaking up against the humanitarian disaster unfolding in Kashmir,” PM Khan told the Iranian president.
The Pakistani premier said his main reason for visiting Iran is that Pakistan doesn’t want conflict in the region. “We do not want another conflict in this part of the world,” he said.
“Iran is our neighbour. Ties with Iran go way back. Saudi Arabia has been one of our closest friends. They have helped us when we have been in need. We do not want a conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia. We recognise that it is a complex issue, but it is something, we feel, can be resolved through dialogue,” the premier said, adding that there are vested interests that want this conflict to take place, but we must not allow it.
He said this trip is purely a Pakistan initiative, he stressed. “We haven’t been asked by anyone to do this,” he said.
PM Khan will go to Saudi Arabia after his Iran trip.
He is being accompanied on the trip by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Special Assistant to the PM for Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Zulfi Bukhari, Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi and the ISI director-general.
This will be the prime minister’s second visit to Iran this year.
The prime minister also had a bilateral meeting with the Iranian president on the sidelines of the 74th UN General Assembly session in New York last month.
The visit comes after PM Imran last month said that US President Donald Trump had asked him to help defuse tensions in the Middle East.