Iran describes Saudi talks as positive, constructive

Iran describes Saudi talks as positive, constructive
Wed Aug 27, 2014 08:25:46

Iran’s deputy foreign minister says he held “positive and constructive” talks with Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister in Jeddah where militancy in Iraq – that both see as a threat – was one of the topics discussed.

Hossein Amir Abdollahian was in Jeddah for the first high-level bilateral talks between the two countries since Hassan Rouhani was elected president of Iran a year ago.

“Both sides emphasized the need to open a new page of political relations between the two countries,” Abdollahian told Reuters after meeting Prince Saud al-Faisal.

The two men discussed issues of regional security such as ISIL terrorists in Iraq and Israeli attacks on Gaza, Abdollahian said: “The meeting took place in a very positive and constructive atmosphere.”

The meeting was “fruitful,” Iran’s representative at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Riza Hamid Dahqani told AFP.

The Iranian diplomat did not elaborate on how Saudi Arabia and Iran could cooperate to stop the advance of the Takfiri militants in Iraq.

Official Saudi media did not initially report on Abdollahian’s arrival, a sign of the sensitivity of relations between two of the Middle East’s big powers which are separated by the Persian Gulf.

But state news agency SPA later did report the talks, saying the men “reviewed bilateral relations between the two countries and discussed a number of regional and international issues of common interest.

Iran’s financial daily Donya-e Eghtessad wrote: “It [the visit] is a step toward improving relations between Tehran and Riyadh.”

The authorities in Saudi Arabia had invited Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, but he declined, citing the ongoing nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers.

Donya-e Eghtessad also quoted Abdollahian as saying a Zarif trip to Riyadh should “be prepared and protocol must be respected.”

Rouhani has stated his wish to improve relations with Iran’s neighbors, especially Saudi Arabia.

In June, Rouhani warned that Muslim states which funnel petrodollars to the terrorists wreaking havoc in Iraq will become their next target.

“I advise Muslim countries that support the terrorists with their petrodollars to stop,” Rouhani said, referring to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which Tehran accuses of financing the Takfiri militants.

“Tomorrow you will be targeted ... by these savage terrorists. Wash your hands of killing and the killing of Muslims,” he added.

BA/BA

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