TEHRAN (Dispatches) – Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said Islamabad will not join any war in the region but will continue to play a vibrant and positive role for establishment of lasting peace.
Qureshi made the remarks late Sunday in a meeting here with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani amid heightened tensions in the Middle East following the U.S. assassination of a top Iranian general earlier this month.
During the meeting, the Pakistan foreign minister said Tehran and Islamabad enjoy "deep historic, religious, cultural brotherhood”.
He also appreciated Tehran restraint in the wake of dangerous U.S. provocations and said the region could not afford any more tension or confrontation.
"Pakistan will not join any war in the region; however, it will continue playing a vibrant and positive role for establishment of peace in the region,” Qureshi said.
FM Qureshi also thanked Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and President Rouhani for supporting Pakistan and the Kashmiri people.
Rouhani lauded peace building efforts by Pakistan, stressing that Iran did not want to increase tensions in the region. "Relations with Pakistan are very important for Iran and we recognize much the significance of expanding ties between the two countries,” he said.
Rouhani said Tehran and Islamabad can deepen their relations and not allow certain terrorists groups threaten the security of the two countries’ shared borders.
He said the leaders of the United States and the Israel, along with leaders of terrorist groups around the world such as Daesh, were happy with the assassination of top Iranian commander General Qassem Soleimani.
In a message posted on Twitter early Monday, FM Qureshi said he had held a constructive and positive meeting with the Iranian president.
"We are committed to exercising every diplomatic effort to achieve regional security and are clear Pakistan soil will not be used for war,” the Pakistani foreign minister said on Twitter.
FM Qureshi visited Riyadh Monday to hold talks with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and consult on issues of regional peace and stability.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned that military confrontation with Iran would impact global peace and stability, as he began a visit to the Middle East.
On Sunday, Abe discussed regional tensions during an hour-long meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman in northwestern Al-Ula province, according to foreign ministry spokesman Masato Ohtaka.
"Any military confrontation in the region that includes a country like Iran will have an impact not only on peace and stability in the region but the peace and stability of the whole world,” Abe said on the occasion.
Abe called "on all relevant countries to engage in diplomatic efforts to defuse tensions”, Ohtaka added. The spokesman said the two leaders agreed on working closely on maritime security in the region.
Japan, however, will not join a U.S.-led coalition in the region. Tokyo has walked a fine line in balancing its key alliance with Washington and its longstanding relations and interests with Tehran.