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UN chief pledges ‘active engagement’ in de-escalating U.S.-Iran tension

UN chief Antonio Guterres said he would “continue his active engagement with relevant actors” in an effort to de-escalate U.S.-Iran tensions following Iranian missile strikes on Iraqi bases hosting U.S. forces.

“It is our common duty to make every effort to avoid a war in the Gulf that the world cannot afford,” Guterres said in a statement.

The UN secretary general also reiterates his “passionate appeal for peace” made on Monday, when he urged both sides to “stop escalation.”

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday expressed deep concern over the evolving situation in the Middle East in view of the U.S.-Iran tensions, underlining the imperative of avoiding any further escalation, official said.

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This is contained in a statement issued by the Prime Minister Office.
The prime minister made the remarks while talking to Minister for Endowment and Religious Affairs of Oman Sheikh Abdullah Assalami in Islamabad.

He said this after the tensions between the U.S. and Iran heightened over a U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani on Friday near Baghdad airport.

The prime minister’s office said that during the meeting with the Omani minister the two discussed the recent developments in the Middle East and the Gulf region, with Khan saying that war is in nobody’s interest.

“Recalling that Pakistan had suffered greatly due to earlier regional conflicts, the prime minister made clear that Pakistan would not be part of any conflict in the region,” the statement added.

Khan also recalled his earlier efforts for the facilitation of contacts between the U.S. and Iran as well as Iran and Saudi Arabia for peaceful resolution of differences and disputes.

“Pakistan would always be a partner for peace. Pakistan would continue to play its role in seeking to defuse tensions, prevent conflict, and preserve the peace,” the statement quoted the prime minister as saying. (NAN)