Iran welcomes efforts to mediate talks with Saudis ahead of Imran Khan visit
Iran's foreign minister said the country welcomes efforts by intermediaries to arrange talks with Saudi Arabia, including those by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan who is due to arrive in Tehran on Saturday.
Iran Press/Iran News: "We've always been open to discussing anything with Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is our neighbour. We're going to be here together permanently," Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an interview with Turkey's TRT World.
"We don't have any choice but to talk to each other, and we have been open to talks with Saudi Arabia either directly or through intermediaries," Zarif noted.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will embark on an official visit to Iran, and he is expected to act as an intermediary between Tehran and Riyadh, as part of Islamabad’s efforts to defuse increasing tensions in the Middle East, diplomatic sources said on Friday.
"We've always been open to mediation, and we've always been open to direct talks with our Saudi neighbours," the top diplomat noted when asked about the upcoming visit of Pakistan's Imran Khan to Tehran.
Prime Minister Imran Khan will leave Islamabad for Tehran on Saturday, where he is scheduled to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday.
The prime minister will later in the day travel to Riyadh for meetings with the Saudi leadership. During Khan’s last visit to Riyadh, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman had asked him to help defuse tensions with Iran.
The announcement of the Pakistani prime minister's visit comes after The New York Times quoted officials of Iraq and Pakistan as saying that the Saudi crown prince had asked the leaders of those two countries in recent weeks to speak with their Iranian counterparts about de-escalation of tensions.