2006 News Story

Foreign Minister visits Iran for talks

Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud Al-Faisal arrived in Tehran today for a one-day official visit. He met separately with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki for talks on the situation in the region as well as bilateral relations.

In a press conference after his meeting with Mottaki, Prince Saud described the talks as constructive and stressed Iran’s important role in the region. He expressed the hope that Saudi-Iranian cooperation would be enhanced either bilaterally or through the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Commenting on Iran’s nuclear program, Prince Saud reiterated the Kingdom’s support for a ban on all weapons of mass destruction in the region, and that the Arab policy is the same.

The situation in Iraq was also discussed, Prince Saud said. He expressed the hope that the new government in Iraq would pave the way for security, stability and national unity, and that Iraq’s neighbors would help Iraq preserve its independence and not interfere in the political process.

For his part, Mottaki said that he had informed Prince Saud of the developments in the Iranian nuclear issue. Prince Saud affirmed his support for Iran’s right to acquire nuclear energy in line with international laws and resolutions as well as the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. The Saudi Foreign Minister also underlined the importance of settling the nuclear issue through diplomatic channels, Mottaki said.

Mottaki also said that both countries underscored the importance of political dialogue as well as the establishment of a joint economic commission in the near future. He noted that Saudi Arabia and Iran stressed the importance of Palestinian unity and ongoing support of Muslim countries for the Palestinian government and people.