Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has reached out to Iraq and Pakistan in a bid to defuse the tensions in the Middle East amid an escalating conflict with the foe, Iran. Consequent to the attack on two oil facilities of Saudi on September 14, Riyadh has asked Islamabad and Baghdad to speak to the Iranian leadership, as the hostility in the region, according to The New York Times. According to international reports, it was after US President Donald Trump's denial to retaliate over the attack on Saudi Arabia's energy installment, that instigated Crown Prince to "seek its own solution to the conflict."
NYT, while quoting the unnamed Iraqi and Pakistani officials, said that MBS told Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan that "I want to avoid war" and asked him to mediate. Khan visited Saudi Arabia from September 19 to 20. When Iraq's Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi visited Jeddah on September 25, the crown prince made a similar request.
Welcoming the gesture by the Kingdom, Iran stated privately and publicly that it was open to talks with Saudi Arabia. The Speaker of Iran's Parliament told Al Jazeera, "Iran is open to starting a dialogue with Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region. An Iranian-Saudi dialogue could solve many of the region's security and political problems"
The attack on Saudi Arabia's oil facility Aramco was claimed by Yemen-based Houthis, however, Riyadh and ally Washington, both pinned the blame on Iran for the attacks. Saudi Arabia and Iran have been opponents of various wars in the Middle East, including the brutal conflicts in Yemen and Syria.
Despite calling the attack an "act of war," the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that he preferred a peaceful solution to the ongoing conflict instead of a military confrontation with Iran. Mohammed bin Salman further suggested that US President Donald Trump must meet with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani to draft a new nuclear deal.
During the UN General Assembly in New York last week, that found the Presidents of both Iran and the United States under one roof, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson both could be seen convincing Hassan Rouhani to meet with Donald Trump.
"What is important is that if he leaves the country without meeting with President Trump, this is a lost opportunity. Because you will not come back to the US and President Trump will not go to Tehran" said Macron, as Johnson agreed with him.
Macron to Rouhani: If you leave the country without meeting with President Trump, honestly it would be a loss of opportunity.pic.twitter.com/yDfV2aQbOm— Reza Khaasteh (@Khaaasteh) September 25, 2019
(With ANI inputs)