RIYADH     -    Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday met Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during a one-day visit to the Kingdom’s capital aimed at defusing tensions between Tehran and Riyadh.

During the meeting, PM Imran and King Salman discussed matters of mutual interest.

Separately, the prime minister also held delegation-level talks with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The two talked about bilateral relations, regional peace and security, and global political situation.

The premier and the Saudi crown prince agreed to bolster Pakistan-Saudi relations as well as bilateral cooperation.

PM Imran underscored that Pakistan wishes for peace and stability in the entire region, including the Gulf countries. All conflicts and disagreements can be resolved through political dialogue and diplomacy, he added.

The PM also apprised the Crown Prince about the latest conditions in occupied Kashmir.

Earlier when the prime minister had reached Saudi Arabia, Riyadh Governor Faisal bin Bandar and Minister of State Musaad bin Mohammed Al Aiban welcomed him at the airport.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and PM Imran’s special assistant on overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfiqar Bukhari were accompanying him on the trip.

A statement by the Foreign Office earlier had said: “The prime minister will confer with the Saudi leadership in light of his recent consultations with other leaders. Bilateral ties and other regional developments would also form part of the discussions.

“Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are bound in a fraternal relationship marked by mutual trust and understanding, close cooperation, and an abiding tradition of supporting each other,” the statement added.

Talking to CNN before leaving for Saudi Arabia, Imran Khan sounded his optimism about possible improvements in the US-Iran ties which have been currently at the lowest ebb after US President Donald Trump announced withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal followed by imposition of pressing sanctions.

The prime minister, in a brief interview with CNN’s programme hosted by Becky Anderson on Tuesday, said during his visit to New York, the US president asked him that he (the PM) should try and go between Iran and the United States.

During his recent visit to Iran, he also spoke to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani about the US offer, he added.

The prime minister, to a question, replied that the situation was evolving and he would not go into details. “Let’s see; it gets anywhere.” he said, adding, “I did not go into too much detail, until there is response from both sides.”

He also admitted that the relations between the two countries were more complicated.

To another query, he expressed his optimism that there was realisation on both sides.

About the US president, the prime minister said the people criticised him often but “I think, what I like in him that he did not believe in wars.”