Expanding ties with neighbors, Iran's core policy: Foreign minister
Mon May 13, 2013 6:24AM
Foreign ministers of the OIC Contact Group on Mali are scheduled to hold a meeting in Jeddah on Monday to discuss ways of easing the situation in the African country."Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has reiterated the country’s fundamental policy of promoting cooperation with regional countries, particularly its neighbors. Salehi made the remarks in a Sunday meeting with his Saudi counterpart Saud al-Faisal in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where both officials discussed bilateral ties and regional developments. Continued contacts and consultations between officials in Tehran and Riyadh on various issues of mutual interest can pave the way for bilateral cooperation and help remove obstacles in the way of expanding ties, said the top Iranian diplomat.
Salehi added that cooperation between Iran and Saudi Arabia, as two influential countries in the region, serves the interests of other regional states as well as the two countries.He said Tehran - Riyadh cooperation will also contribute to the security and stability of the strategic Persian Gulf region, adding that regional countries can ensure their security through collective cooperation. The Iranian foreign minister pointed to Iran’s sincere efforts in helping resolve regional crises and highlighted the Islamic Republic’s position on regional developments, especially the situation in Syria, Bahrain and Iraq. Al-Faisal, for his part, described the Islamic Republic as a great country, adding that Iran and Saudi Arabia are two regional heavyweights. He further expressed his country’s willingness for brotherly ties based upon common interests with Iran. Salehi is in Saudi Arabia to attend a ministerial meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Contact Group on the crisis in Mali. Foreign ministers of the OIC Contact Group on Mali are scheduled to hold a meeting in Jeddah on Monday to discuss ways of easing the situation in the African country. The Iranian foreign minister is expected to outline the Islamic Republic’s stance on the crisis in Mali and also hold talks with the officials of participating countries on the sidelines of the meeting. France launched a war in the resource-rich West African country on January 11, 2013, under the pretext of fighting al-Qaeda-linked extremists. The French-led war on Mali has caused a serious humanitarian crisis in the northern areas of the country and has displaced thousands of people, who now live in deplorable conditions. YH/NN/HMV