Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday suggested that close ally China and Islamic countries mediate in the Russia-Ukraine conflict and try to bring about a ceasefire.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is holding the 48th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers, which more than 600 delegates are attending, including Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi as a special guest, in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.
“May I suggest that OIC during its discussion with foreign ministers, we should think about how … how we can mediate, how we can bring about the ceasefire,” Khan told the gathering.
“I want to discuss how, maybe OIC along with China, we can all step in and try to stop this conflict which is going to have, if it keeps going the way it is, it would have great consequences for the rest of the world.”
Khan’s comments came hours after China and Pakistan echoed concerns about “spill-over effects of unilateral sanctions” on Russia, according to a statement by the Chinese foreign ministry.
China has not condemned Russia’s invasion, though it has expressed concern about the war. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said on Saturday that Western sanctions against Russia were getting “more and more outrageous”.
Khan was in Moscow to meet President Vladimir Putin the day Russian forces entered Ukraine. Pakistan has expressed concern about the repercussions of the invasion but also stopped short of condemning it.
Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what it called a special operation to degrade its neighbour’s military capabilities and root out people it called dangerous nationalists.
Pakistan abstained from the U.N. General Assembly vote that condemned Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.