May 13, 2014 / 11:25 AM / 4 years ago

Saudi foreign minister says has invited Iranian counterpart to visit

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, said on Tuesday Riyadh had invited Iran’s foreign minister to visit the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal attends the opening of the Geneva-2 peace conference in Montreux January 22, 2014. REUTERS/ Jamal Saidi

“We sent an invitation to the foreign minister to visit Saudi Arabia, but this intention to visit has not become a fact ... But any time he sees fit to come, we are ready to receive him,” Prince Saud told reporters at a news conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia is a leading backer of rebels fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is a close ally of the kingdom’s main rival, Shi’ite Muslim power Iran.

“We’ll negotiate with them, we’ll talk with them,” Prince Saud said.

Reporting by Angus McDowall; Writing by Yara Bayoumy; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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