UNITED NATIONS, Sept 25 (APP):Prime Minister Imran Khan has said he is making efforts to help de-escalate tensions between the United States and Iran, hoping that the situation does not escalate into a conflict.
The prime minister met President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly, before which he visited Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia, who, he said, had made the same request.
“President Trump asked me that if we could de-escalate the situation and maybe come up with another deal. So, I did convey this (to the Iranian president) and yes, we are trying our best. It’s an ongoing thing so I can’t reveal more than that,” PM Khan said.
“Yes, we did convey this, and yes, we’re trying our best,” he said.
“I immediately spoke to President Rouhani yesterday after the meeting with President Trump. I can’t say anything right now more than this, except that we’re trying and mediating,” he added.
Just when Khan was addressing the news conference at the U.N., Trump separately confirmed to reporters that the Pakistani leader was involved in mediatory efforts to help ease tensions with Iran.
Khan said he was hoping the U.S.-Iran tensions do not escalate into a conflict because Pakistan, which shares nearly a 900-kilometer border with Iran, is already facing economic and security challenges stemming from years of conflict in Afghanistan.
When asked about Khan’s remarks, Trump said the Pakistani leader would like to mediate “and we have a very good relationship and there’s a chance that that could happen.”
“A lot of people would like to get us to the table. We’ll see what happens but so far we have not agreed to a meeting,” Trump said on a possible meeting with Rouhani while they are both in New York this week.
Prime Minister Khan said he was also making efforts to help restart peace talks between the U.S. and the Afghan Taliban that President Trump called off two weeks ago just when the two sides had come close to signing an agreement.
Islamabad played a key role in bringing the Taliban to the table for talks with American interlocutors.
“We are trying now to get the talks restarted between Taliban and the Americans and hopefully the deal is signed,” Khan said.
“Then I will try and meet the Taliban to convince them to talk to the Afghan government because until now that’s where the hitch was — Taliban were talking to the Americans but not to the Afghan government,” he said.