Russia calls on Iran and Pakistan to show ‘maximum restraint’, embrace diplomacy

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s foreign ministry on Thursday called on Iran and Pakistan to show maximum restraint and solve their differences through diplomacy or risk playing into the hands of those who would like to see the region descend into chaos.

Moscow spoke out after Pakistan said it had used killer drones and rockets to strike separatist Baloch militants inside Iran on Thursday, two days after Tehran said it had attacked the bases of another group within Pakistani territory.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova in a statement noted that the two countries are part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a grouping that Russia helped found.

“It is regrettable that this is happening between friendly SCO countries, with which we are developing partnership relations. Further aggravation of the situation plays into the hands of those who are not interested in peace, stability and security in the region,” said Zakharova.

Any anti-terrorist operation on another country’s sovereign territory had to be carried out in agreement and coordination with the authorities of that country, she said.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Andrew Osborn)