By Arul Louis
United Nations, Jan 15 (IANS) Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi is coming to the US on Wednesday for his "US-Iran diplomatic efforts," according to sources here.
He plans to first stop in New York and Secretary-General Antonio Guterres's spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said a meeting between them was likely.
"My understanding is that the meeting -- if it happens -- the meeting was requested by the Pakistan mission and the Secretary General is always happy to meet visiting foreign ministers," Dujarric said on Tuesday.
Guterres, who was in Portugal for the Lisbon Green Capital initiative and other meetings, is travelling back to New York and the visit will depend on him and Qureshi synchronising their schedules.
A neighbour of Iran, Pakistan is trying to insert itself Teheran-Washington confrontation and take on a mediating role.
Qureshi had met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Tehran on Sunday and Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud on Monday.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had said in September after a meeting with US President Donald Trump that he had been asked to mediate to bring down the tension.
However, there was no confirmation of the request by the US.
Tensions between Washington and Teheran neared a flashpoint this month after Iranian Major General Qassim Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, was killed in a US missile strike in Iraq and Iran retaliated with rocket attacks on bases in Iraq where US troops are stationed.
However, both sides drew back from the brink and have indicated that there would be no further escalation for the time being.
(Arul Louis can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @arulouis)
Panaji, Jan 22 (IANS) With the Goa Chief Minister maintaining that the Lokayukta's report on illegal renewal of 88 mining leases in the coastal state in 2015 is "recommendatory" only, the state Congress on Wednesday said it will approach the CBI for a probe.
Goa Lokayukta P.K. Mishra had on Tuesday indicted former Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, former Mines Secretary P.K. Sain and Mining and Geology Department Director Prasanna Acharya and directed the state government to order a CBI probe into the matter.
"The state government has a lot to hide. Therefore, it is not ordering a CBI probe, which is why we -- as an opposition party -- will file the plaint before the Central Bureau of Investigation based on the Lokayukta's orders," Goa Congress chief Girish Chodankar told reporters here.
"We will also seek a probe into the role of former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in the case," he added.
Parsekar, who was the Chief Minister from 2014-17, Sain and Prasanna Acharya were indicted for illegal renewals of mining leases in "haste", after nearly a dozen mining leases were similarly renewed during Parrikar's tenure.
After Chief Minister Pramod Sawant appeared reluctant on the CBI probe order on the ground that "the Goa Lokayukta report is recommendatory", Chodankar said that the Congress would move the CBI due to Sawant's "lacklustre response" on the matter.