1998 News Story
 

02/23/1998
Former Iranian President on official visit to Kingdom

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz yesterday received former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who now holds a portfolio as head of the Expediency Council in the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. During their meeting there was discussion not only of bilateral relations between the two countries but current developments including the crisis between Iraq and the United Nations, with King Fahd expressing hope for the success of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's mission to find a diplomatic solution to avoid greater tragedy for Iraq and the Iraqi people.


Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz yesterday received former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who now holds a portfolio as head of the Expediency Council in the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. During their meeting there was discussion not only of bilateral relations between the two countries but current developments including the crisis between Iraq and the United Nations, with King Fahd expressing hope for the success of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's mission to find a diplomatic solution to avoid greater tragedy for Iraq and the Iraqi people.
Former President Rafsanjani arrived on Saturday on an official visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with an extensive delegation, which includes the Iranian ministers for oil, agriculture, commerce, and labor, and the mayor of Tehran. They were welcomed at King Khaled International Airport by Crown Prince Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard, and by Prince Salman Ibn Abdul Aziz, Governor of Riyadh Province. The delegation yesterday visited the King Fahd National Guard Hospital, the Presidency of the National Guard and the King Abdul Aziz Library. Today Former President Rajsanjani toured King Saud University, and paid visits to the Consultative Council (Majlis Al-Shura), and to Riyadh's Chamber of Commerce. On Saturday evening Crown Prince Abdullah hosted a dinner party in honor of the visiting delegation.
In a newspaper interview yesterday, former President Rafsanjani said that he holds the Iraqi regime responsible for the consequences if it comes to military action. Concerning the Islamic Summit Conference recently held in Tehran, he said it was successful and effective, thanks largely to the valuable role played by Crown Prince Abdullah, who led the Saudi delegation on behalf of King Fahd, and whose visit had a positive impact in solving many problems. Rafsanjani pointed out that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran occupy important positions in the Muslim world, and there is need for cooperation between them. As for the objective of his current visit, he said that it marks the beginning of his endeavor to get to know the Muslim world in-depth, and that he started with the holiest part of the world, adding that he seeks knowledge about the Kingdom as the cradle of Islam, noting that vital issues to be discussed will include the Palestinian cause, relations among Muslims and Arabs, and the question of Afghanistan. Also of importance is the stability of the oil market. Concerning relations between Iran and the Gulf states, he said there is good cooperation there. Underscoring the importance of cooperation among Muslim countries, he said if Saudi Arabia and Iran cooperate, and others did too, such as Egypt and Syria, then Israel would not be able to impose its will in the region, nor spread its falsehoods.

 

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