Pakistan PM mediating with Iran to ease Mideast tension
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that U.S. President Donald Trump requested him to mediate with Iran to reduce tension in the Middle East, following drone attacks on Saudi oil fields.
"Trump asked me that if we could de-escalate the situation and maybe come up with another deal," he told reporters on Tuesday at the UN Headquarters in New York.
Khan met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh last week on his way to the U.S. for UN General Assembly, where the latter had made the same request, asking the Pakistani leader to talk to the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
He also met Trump and Rouhani separately on the sideline of the 74th UN General Assembly on Monday.
"I immediately spoke to President Rouhani yesterday after the meeting with President Trump but I can't say anything right now more than this, except that we are trying and mediating," Khan said.
"Yes, we did convey this, and yes, we're trying our best," he added.
Tension has escalated in the Gulf after drones hit two oil facilities in the north of Saudi Arabia on Sept. 14.
Yemen's Houthi rebel group initially claimed responsibility for the attack, but the U.S. has since blamed Iran, as has Saudi Arabia. The Islamic Republic has denied any connection to the strikes.