Efforts are underway to defuse ongoing tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia: Sartaj Aziz

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Pakistan has sought to avoid taking sides as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif tries to stem sectarian violence at home and boost economic ties with both Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia has reiterated the resolve to increase their cooperation in various sectors.

Surtaj Aziz, Sharif’s foreign affairs adviser, said that Pakistan is a friend of both Saudi Arabia and Iran, and would want to heal the difference between them.

Talking to media in Islamabad on Thursday night, he said Saudi Foreign Minister’s visit to Pakistan is very fruitful as both the countries discussed regional situation and matters of mutual interest.

Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan has expressed concerns on the attack on Saudi Embassy in Tehran and growing tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

He said efforts would be made to reduce this tension and draw a political solution to the situation.

To a question, the advisor said role of every country in 34-nation alliance of the Muslim countries is voluntary and all the member states are free to define their role in the coalition like  extending training in counter-insurgency.

Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan has always supported all alliances meant for fighting terrorism.

“Pakistan has called for resolution of differences through peaceful means in the larger interest of Muslim unity in these challenging times,” Aziz told parliament on Tuesday.

Joint conference had been cancelled due to late arrival of Saudi Minister.

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