Saudi-Iran row: PM Nawaz and Gen Sharif arrive in Tehran

TEHRAN: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif arrived in Tehran Tuesday ─ a day after holding meetings with Saudi leadership in Riyadh ─ where they are expected to hold meetings with Iranian leaders as part of efforts to diffuse rising tensions between the kingdom and the Islamic Republic.

The premier and the army chief are slated to meet with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and are also expected to call upon Iranian grand spiritual leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

After arrival Gen Raheel met Iran’s Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan, said a statement issued from the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

In the meeting with the minister, the army chief reiterated that “Pakistan takes Iran as a very important neighbouring Muslim country and the people of Pakistan have a great affinity with their Iranian brothers,” added the statement.

Gen Raheel said terrorism is a global threat that can potentially destabilise the region, adding that a coordinated response was needed to deal with the menace.

The Iranian defence minister thanked Gen Raheel Sharif and the people of Pakistan for their efforts to bolster regional security.

During the visit to the kingdom, the premier met with King Salman, and the prime minister is expected to deliver the king’s message to the Iranian leadership.

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