Saudi FM arriving with message from crown prince

Published February 28, 2019
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi says his Saudi counterpart will be arriving in Islamabad today with a message from Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. ─ DawnNewsTV
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi says his Saudi counterpart will be arriving in Islamabad today with a message from Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. ─ DawnNewsTV

Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir will be arriving in Pakistan on Friday, the Foreign Office said on Thursday.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told reporters that the Saudi envoy was coming to Pakistan with a special message from Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

Qureshi said he had spoken to his Saudi counterpart over the telephone last night. "He expressed a wish to come to Pakistan, which I welcomed," he said.

"The Saudi [state] foreign minister will be coming to Pakistan with a message from Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman," Qureshi added.

'PM Khan ready to talk to Modi'

Separately, in an exclusive interview with Geo News, Qureshi said that Prime Minister Imran Khan is "ready to talk to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the telephone to offer him peace. Is Modi ready for it?"

"We are ready for every eventuality. If they give priority to peace, we are ready for peace. If they prioritise dialogue, we are ready for dialogue," Qureshi said.

The foreign minister also confirmed the receipt of India's dossier on the Pulwama attack. "Let's talk together on the basis of the dossier," he continued. "I am ready to talk. You want to talk about terrorism, I am ready. You want to talk about peace, I am ready. You want to make it a common challenge, I am ready."

"What actually do you want? Do you want to disrupt regional stability for politics? Do you want to waste innocent lives? This is not a wise strategy. This is neither wisdom, nor statesmanship."

'Happy for Trump's intervention'

He also welcomed US President Donald Trump's announcement today that he believes the Pak-India conflict is going to be coming to an end after Washington's efforts "in trying to have them stop".

"I am happy that President Trump has, gauging the seriousness of the situation, decided to intervene," the foreign minister said.

"Pakistan has long-standing ties with the US, and America's intervention can prove to be helpful for regional peace," Qureshi added.

The foreign minister reiterated that Pakistan had, since the escalation of recent tensions with India, been calling for peace and making it clear that India's attempts to spread regional unrest are a result of the demands of its internal politics and upcoming elections.

"Now Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders are saying themselves that by conducting such strikes in Pakistan, they would get 22 more seats in Lok Sabha."

Read more: Politician says Indian incursion into Pakistan will help BJP win 22 seats in Karnataka

The statements came hours after Pakistan carried out air strikes and shot down two Indian jets, a day after Indian warplanes violated the Line of Control.

On Wednesday, the US and rest of the international community urged Pakistan and India to exercise restraint and refrain from escalating tensions. Pakistan has maintained that it wants peace.

The US and other countries want both Islamabad and Delhi to deescalate tensions and avoid further military action.

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