Pakistan's foreign minister on Friday voiced confidence that Iran was seeking to lower tensions and that Tehran doesn't want war.

Iran Press/America: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi discussed Iran and Afghanistan's peace process Friday with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, five days after meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran.

While stopping short of saying that he was transmitting any message, Qureshi said he understood that the Iranians "did not want to escalate things."

"They don't want war, they don't want further bloodshed," Qureshi told reporters in Washington, AFP reported.

The United States on 3 January assassinated Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the former commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) elite Quds Forces in a drone strike outside Baghdad International Airport.

General Soleimani was on an official trip to Baghdad, carrying a message for the Iraqi Prime Minister, and was visiting Baghdad at the official invitation of the Iraqi government.

In retaliation, Iran responded with missile strikes on two US airbases in Iraq, one at Ain Al-Asad in al-Anbar province, and another in the Iraqi Kurdistan region, near Erbil, targeting both with a barrage of missiles.

Qureshi, whose country has strong relations with both Iran and Saudi Arabia, said Iran has signaled a willingness to ease tensions with its Arab neighbors.

The Iranians "highlighted the issues, the differences, they have had with other important countries in the region," he said.

"They said they are willing to engage at any level and in any format," Qureshi said.

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi arrived in Tehran on 13 January, on a mission to de-escalate tensions. This was announced beforehand by Pakistani Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui at a news briefing in Islamabad on Thursday 9 January.

According to Farooqui the Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan advised the foreign minister to undertake the visit to Iran to try to de-escalate tensions in the region.

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Sunday 13 Jan met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

He confirmed that Islamabad will work to reduce tensions in the region and called his meeting with President Hassan Rouhani as "constructive and positive".


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