2007 News Story

Saudi-Iranian talks focus on Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine

  King Abdullah and President Ahmedinejad

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz held talks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad in Riyadh today. Ahmedinejad arrived in the Kingdom yesterday for a two-day official visit, his first to Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi-Iranian talks focused on regional crises in addition to bilateral cooperation in a number of areas.

On the Palestinian issue, the two leaders stressed the importance of Palestinian internal unity. President Ahmedinejad also expressed support for the Arab Peace Initiative, proposed by King Abdullah and approved at the 2002 Arab Summit in Beirut.

Turning to Iraq, King Abdullah and President Ahmedinejad underscored the importance of implementing the Iraqi government’s security plan, as well as safeguarding Iraq’s unity and independence.

On Lebanon, President Ahmedinejad said that Iran has been following Saudi Arabia’s efforts to end the political crisis in Lebanon. Both leaders expressed the hope that the Lebanese parties would respond positively to the Kingdom’s efforts.

King Abdullah and President Ahmedinejad also drew attention to the dangers caused by sectarian strife in the Muslim world. They reiterated the importance of Muslim unity and called for efforts to confront attempts to sow discord between Shiites and Sunnis.

In remarks to the press upon his return to Tehran today, President Ahmedinejad described the visit as a good one. He noted that he and King Abdullah conducted comprehensive talks on the crises in Palestine and Iraq. Ahmedinejad said that Saudi Arabia and Iran share common views, and that both countries oppose any effort to sow sectarian discord among Muslims.

After returning to Iran President Ahmedinejad telephoned King Abdullah to discuss regional and international issues as well as bilateral relations.

Yesterday, Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud Al-Faisal met with Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki to discuss the upcoming meeting of Iraq’s neighbors in Baghdad. Mottaki told reporters that Iran supports all efforts to bring security to Iraq and bolster the Iraqi government.