Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday welcomed Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s statement that Saudi Arabia wants to mend ties and trying to balance long-held animosity with Iran over economic considerations and bridge differences.
“We welcome the KSA initiative for peace with Iran. Iran is our neighbour and KSA our closest friend. This peace initiative will strengthen the Muslim Ummah,” Imran Khan said in a tweet.
In a television interview broadcast by Al-Arabiya on Tuesday, Prince Mohammed said, “Iran is a neighboring country, and all we aspire for is a good and special relationship with Iran.”
“We do not want Iran to be in a difficult situation, on the contrary, we want Iran to prosper and grow. We have interests in Iran and they have interests in the kingdom to propel the region and the world to growth and prosperity,” Prince Mohammed said.
The war in Yemen has escalated tensions between Riyadh and Tehran, where a group affiliated with the Iranian coalition has stepped up attacks on Saudi Arabia, even trying to attract foreign investment. Tensions between the two Gulf powerhouses have also risen since the attack on Saudi oil plants in 2019, which Riyadh has blamed on Iran, which Tehran denies.
While reiterating that, “Our problem is with Tehran’s negative behaviour,” he said, mentioning Tehran’s nuclear programme, missiles programme and support for proxies around the region.
‘We are working with our regional and global partners to find solutions to these problems and we hope to overcome them for good relations that benefit everyone,” he added.