Pakistan and Saudi Arabia on Saturday agreed to maintain close contact on recent regional developments including US-Iran tensions, President Trump’s Middle East ‘peace plan’ and Kashmir issue, the Foreign Office said on Saturday. “The two foreign ministers reaffirmed the strategic importance of Pakistan-Saudi Arabia relationship and reiterated the shared resolve to deepen bilateral cooperation in diverse fields,” the FO statement read, referring to a telephonic conversation between Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Saudi counterpart Faisal bin Farhan. During the conversation, Foreign Minister Qureshi appreciated Saudi Arabia’s steadfast support for the Kashmir cause as a key member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir. “Views were exchanged on working together to advance the Kashmir cause, including from the OIC platform,” the statement maintained. Tensions have increased between Tehran and Washington since the United States killed top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad on January 3, prompting the Islamic Republic to retaliate with a missile strike against a US base in Iraq. President Trump has also proposed the creation of a Palestinian state with a capital on the outskirts of Jerusalem and termed the proposal ‘deal of the century’. The plan was outrightly rejected by both Iran and Palestine. Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia had barred an Iranian delegation from an OIC meeting in Jeddah, where Trump’s Middle East plan was to be discussed, indicating bitterness in the bilateral relations between the two regional rivals. Separately, Foreign Minister Qureshi on Saturday reiterated Pakistan’s political and moral support for the oppressed people of Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) in their struggle for the right to self-determination. While addressing a meeting with parliamentary leaders of Azad Kashmir in Islamabad, Qureshi said Pakistan has made extensive efforts to highlight the gross human rights violations in the occupied valley by Indian government at the diplomatic level. “Kashmir issue is present at the agenda of the UN Security Council, but our effort to move the Security Council again was aimed at highlighting the Kashmir issue afresh and get Pakistan’s stance reiterated,” he said. “We got success at the Security Council and the Kashmir issue was discussed,” he added. The foreign minister stressed that the Human Rights Council in Geneva has also been apprised of the Indian atrocities in the besieged region. He added that the issue has also been debated at the European Union Parliament and the United States Congress. “The Kashmir Cell established at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the direction of the prime minister is playing its effective role to highlight the Kashmir issue,” the minister said. Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider lauded Pakistan’s efforts to highlight the Kashmir issue and thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. He emphasised on making joint efforts effectively on the international level to highlight the Kashmir issue. The meeting was also attended by Federal Minister for Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Azad Kashmir President Barrister Sultan Mahmood and Speaker Azad Kashmir Assembly Shah Ghulam Qadir.