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UN chief urges maximum restraint by Iran, Pakistan

54th WEF annual meeting in Davos

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged Iran and Pakistan to "exercise maximum restraint to avoid a further escalation of tensions" after an exchange of military strikes between the countries, his spokesperson said on Thursday.

"The Secretary-General underlines that all security concerns between the two countries must be addressed by peaceful means, through dialogue and cooperation, in accordance with the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and good neighborly relations," U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said.

Pakistan launched strikes on separatist militants inside Iran on Thursday, in a retaliatory attack two days after Tehran said it struck the bases of another group within Pakistani territory.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Doina Chiacu)