NEW YORK: A group of former international diplomats has described as impressive Saudi Arabia’s social and economic reforms and called for a comparable level of commitment to establish meaningful dialogue with its neighbours, notably Iran.

A press statement released by the Elders group, on their first official visit to Saudi Arabia, held talks in Riyadh with King Salman about the security environment in the Middle East.

The group comprises Kofi Annan, Martti Ahtisaari, Lakhdar Brahimi and Ernesto Zedillo.

Former UN chief Kofi Annan, who heads The Elders, said: “We applaud the vision and ambition of these reforms. A comparable ambition is needed to try to resolve the conflicts and tensions scarring the wider Middle East, from Yemen to Syria, Palestine and also Qatar.

“The key interlocutor is Iran and I urge both countries to put aside misgivings and grievances to talk and work together in the best interests of their peoples.”

Published in Dawn, March 1st, 2018

Opinion

Editorial

Taking stock
Updated 14 Aug, 2022

Taking stock

There are numerous reasons behind our predicament, and many of our wounds are self-inflicted.
Medicine in short supply
14 Aug, 2022

Medicine in short supply

THAT rising import prices of pharmaceutical raw materials and increasing production costs of manufacturers have...
Police excesses
Updated 13 Aug, 2022

Police excesses

Crass thuggery and victimisation of ordinary citizens are unlikely to earn govt plaudits from any quarter.
Afghan cleric’s killing
13 Aug, 2022

Afghan cleric’s killing

THAT a suicide bomber belonging to the self-styled Islamic State group managed to target a senior Taliban cleric in...
No room for hockey
13 Aug, 2022

No room for hockey

THERE have been accusations and clarifications as the blame game rumbles on. Yet despite workers of the PTI ...
Militancy redux
Updated 12 Aug, 2022

Militancy redux

There is fear and confusion all around, and it is for the state to bring clarity to the situation.