Iran reiterates bid for better ties with PG states

Iran reiterates bid for better ties with PG states
Sun Sep 29, 2013 14:31:34

A senior Iranian foreign ministry official has reiterated Iran’s interest in further improving relations with regional countries, especially the Arab nations in the Persian Gulf region.

“Iran and Saudi Arabia are two important countries and major regional players and their interactions, cooperation and sharing of viewpoints can contribute to resolving a major part of the regional and even Islamic world disputes,” said Deputy Foreign Minister in Arab and Middle East Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian in an exclusive interview with Al-Alam News Network.

He further reiterated that Iran’s policy towards the regional countries, Arab countries, and particularly the "neighboring Arab states" is based on mutual respect and expansion of interactions and cooperation.

On certain regional issues there are differences of opinion between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and at times there seems to be clashes between the approaches of both sides, said the deputy foreign minister. “Therefore, continuous dialogue, meetings, exchange of messages, and consultations can contribute to a precise, correct and realistic understanding of the regional developments."

The senior official also stated that Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has not yet received any invitation to participate in this year’s annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Islam’s holiest city.

The Hajj is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca and the largest gathering of Muslim people in the world every year. The pilgrimage occurs from the 8th to 12th of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th and last month of the Islamic calendar. Because the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, eleven days shorter than the Gregorian calendar used in the Western world, the Gregorian date of the Hajj changes from year to year. This year's pilgrimage takes place on October 14 through18.

The Iranian president hailed Saudi Arabia as a close friend of the Islamic Republic in an address to a gathering of Hajj officials here in Tehran on September 19, pointing to the willingness of both nations to smooth over "trivial tensions" that have strained bilateral ties.

He also added that Tehran and Riyadh have a lot of common interests and enjoy regional commonalities, and emphasized the need for upgrading the level of interactions between the two Muslim countries.

“This issue (expansion of ties) has been emphasized both in the Saudi king’s congratulatory letter to me and in my letter to thank him,” Rouhani added.

In relevant remarks on Tuesday September 17, the Iranian president noted that improving ties and cooperation with the neighboring states is a top priority in Iran’s foreign policy.


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