Iran, Saudi Arabia can help restore Mideast peace, official says
A senior Iranian official says the Islamic Republic and Saudi Arabia can use their capacities to restore peace and stability in the Middle East and help the Muslim World to further progress.
Iranian deputy foreign minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian described Saudi Arabia as an important country in the region, which plays a significant role in the Muslim world, Iran's Press TV reported on May 16.
He added that the incumbent Iranian administration, when it assumed office, made "positive hints" at an enhancement of relations with Saudi Arabia, adding that the Islamic Republic's foreign policy has always been based on dialog with other countries.
"We recently received a verbal invitation from Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal (for his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif to visit Riyadh); and a number of Saudi officials previously stressed the significance of this trip," Amir-Abdollahian pointed out.
"Nevertheless, our foreign minister's visit to Saudi Arabia requires preparations, and topics of discussion must be outlined; that is why the trip has not been made yet," the deputy Iranian foreign minister added.
Amir-Abdollahian further noted that meetings between Iranian and Saudi foreign ministers as well as serious Tehran-Riyadh interaction in order to resolve regional woes are on the agendas of both Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Saudi foreign minister al-Faisal said on May 13 that Riyadh is ready to engage in negotiations with Iran on the improvement of bilateral relations. "We will talk with them in the hope that if there are any differences, they will be settled to the satisfaction of both countries," he added.
Iran and Saudi Arabia have disagreements on a number of regional issues such as the situation in Syria and Bahrain.