Saudi Arabia extends invitation to bitter rival, Iran
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - 00:58
May 13 - Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister says he has invited his Iranian counterpart for a visit, hinting at a cautious thaw between the two bitter rivals. Mana Rabiee reports.
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Saudi Arabia has invited Iran's foreign minister for a visit.
The announcement on Tuesday hinted at a cautious thaw between the two bitter rivals.
Their relations have been tense since Tehran reached an interim nuclear agreement with world powers.
Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al Faisal, told reporters Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is welcome.
(SOUNDBITE)(English) SAUDI FOREIGN MINISTER, PRINCE SAUD AL-FAISAL, SAYING:
"Any time that he sees fit to come, we are willing to receive him. Iran is a neighbor, we have relations with them, and we will negotiate with them. We will talk with them in the hope that if there are any differences, they will be settled to the satisfaction of both countries, and our hope is that Iran becomes part of the effort to make the region as safe and as prosperous as possible, and not become part of the problem of the insecurity of the region."
Saudi Arabia wouldn't say when the invitation was made but did say that Iran hasn't respond yet.
Iran's Zarif has visited most of Saudi Arabia's Gulf Arab allies since making the nuclear pact.
But ties between the two countries are complicated by the fact that they support opposing sides in Syria's civil war.
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