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January 12, 2020

Region can’t tolerate war anymore: FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi

National

January 12, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Saturday immediately reacted to admission from Iran that it had shot down the Ukrainian passenger plane as a result of ‘human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism’.

As many as 176 passengers were on board from various countries who all perished as a result of this ‘human error’. The aerospace commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards accepted full responsibility for the shooting down of the Ukrainian passenger jet.

Earlier, in a tweet, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said, “Armed Forces’ internal investigation has concluded that regrettably missiles fired due to human error caused the horrific crash of the Ukrainian plane & death of 176 innocent people.” From the Foreign Office, a response came from Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, “Iran’s confession of downing Ukrainian passenger plane should ease up tensions as the region can neither endure tension nor can it tolerate war anymore.”

Qureshi spoke on the eve of his departure to Tehran which will be the first capital in Pakistan’s attempt to de-escalate tensions in the region which started with the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani by the United States. He added that the conflict between Iran and the United States should de-escalate and US President Donald Trump’s recent statement was a ray of hope in this regard. On Friday, the foreign minister had met with new Iranian ambassador to Pakistan Syed Mohammad Ali Hosseini, who reaffirmed that his government under no circumstances wants any escalation in the Middle East.

A statement from the office of the foreign minister said that Pakistan would play an active role to reduce growing tensions in the region and he will hold meeting with the Iranian leadership in Tehran.

"On Prime Minister Imran Khan’s instructions, I am going to visit Iran, and we plan on visiting Saudi Arabia and the United States of America shortly after," he said, adding that he hoped to meet with his Saudi counterpart as well.

Later, the minister had a telephonic conversation with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on the latest situation in the Middle East. Pakistan and Turkey are firming up fresh dates for the postponed visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Pakistan.