Saudi Arabia sets condition for Iran cooperation

Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the U.N. Abdallah al-Mouallimi.

Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the U.N. Abdallah al-Mouallimi.

Saudi Arabia would advance cooperation with Iran if Tehran agrees to end interference in Arab states’ interior affairs, the kingdom’s Ambassador to the U.N. Abdallah al-Mouallimi told Al Arabiya’s Diplomatic Avenue with Talal al-Haj on Friday.

“Iran is welcome if it has a positive role (to play) in the region, without interference in the interior affairs of Arab countries,” Mouallimi said.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is expected to visit Saudi Arabia, Iran’s envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Hamidreza Dehghani has revealed. No date for the planned visit was revealed.

If the visit takes place any time soon, it would be the second meeting between Iranian and Saudi officials in recent weeks.

Iran’s deputy foreign minister Hussein Amir Abdullahian met with the kingdom’s Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal earlier this week.

Dehghani said the meeting was “positive and constructive.”

Dehghani said Abdullahian and al-Faisal discussed regional developments and means to counter extremism and terrorism.

Abdullahian’s visit was the first of its kind since the election of Iranian President Hassan Rowhani in 2013, who pledged to improve ties with the GCC countries, despite a mutual suspicion which sustained.

Saudi Arabia previously invited Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif but the visit never took place.

Despite being at odds on several regional conflicts like Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Bahrain, both countries oppose the rapid advances made by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and they both welcomed the departure of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki this month.


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