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Pakistani Foreign Minister To Hold Talks In Tehran Amid Spiraling Tensions

FILE: Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi (R) shakes hands with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in Islamabad, May 2019.

Pakistan's foreign minister is set to hold talks with top Iranian officials in Tehran amid spiraling tensions in the region following the U.S. drone killing of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani.

The January 12 visit by Shah Mehmood Qureshi follows protests two days earlier in the Pakistani city of Peshawar by hundreds of Shi'ite Muslims outraged by Soleimani's killing.

Pakistan, which shares a border with Iran, has tried to balance its relations with Tehran for decades, even as it cultivates strong ties with Saudi Arabia, and, in the past, the United States.

Qureshi will convey to Iran "Pakistan's readiness to support all efforts that facilitate resolution of differences and disputes through political and diplomatic means," the Foreign Ministry said.

"Recent developments seriously endanger peace and security in an already volatile region and underscore the need for immediate and collective efforts for a peaceful resolution," the ministry said in a statement.

After meeting Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, Qureshi will visit Saudi Arabia.

Qureshi is also scheduled to visit the United States.

Based on reported by AFP