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General

Pakistani FM kicks off UN, US visit for regional peace

Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi who recently visited Iran and Saudi Arabia on special direction of Prime Minister Imran Khan to de-escalate tensions in the region has left for the UN and US in his second leg of peace initiative.

Pakistani foreign ministry in a statement said Qureshi will visit Washington on 16-17 January 2020. The Foreign Minister will also visit New York on 15 January 2020, where he will meet UN leadership including the Secretary-General, it said.

The statement said while in Washington, the Foreign Minister will meet Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Advisor Robert O' Brien and other senior Administration officials.

The Foreign Minister will also have meetings on the Capitol Hill, besides engagements with the media, think tank community and the Pakistani Diaspora, said the foreign ministry.

It went on to say that in the official talks, the Foreign Minister will focus on Pakistan's diplomatic outreach, which has been undertaken on the direction of Prime Minister Imran Khan in the wake of the recent tensions in the Middle East and Persian Gulf Region.

The objective is to support efforts for de-escalation and resolution of differences and disputes through political and diplomatic means. The Foreign Minister's visit to the U.S. is part of these endeavors, the statement further said.

The Foreign Minister will also brief his interlocutors on the prevailing situation in the Kashmir region.

The Foreign Minister will also highlight Pakistan's role and continued resolve to support the Afghan peace and reconciliation process, it said.

Tensions increased in the region following the assassination of IRGC Quds force commander Lieutenant General Qasem Soleimani and the Deputy Commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), known as Hash al-Shaabi, Abu Mahdi Al-Mohandes by the US in a targeted airstrike against their motorcade in Baghdad airport on 3rd January.

Later Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) targeted the US airbase of Ain al-Assad in Al Anbar province in western Iraq in response to the US strikes. However, Iran made it clear that it does not want an escalation of tensions with the US.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA


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