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Tehran, Riyadh Continue Talks on Bilateral Ties, Regional Issues

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, July 6 (ICANA) – Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal said Tehran and Riyadh would continue talks over bilateral relations and regional issues in future.
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 7:50:08 PM
Tehran, Riyadh Continue Talks on Bilateral Ties, Regional Issues

"I met with Iran's former Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki in Tehran and the next meeting was supposed to take place in Riyadh," Saud Al-Faisal said at a joint press conference with his British counterpart William Hague in Jeddah on Tuesday.

"However, they placed some conditions that we did not agree with," he added.

"Recently, the current Iranian Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, called me and requested a meeting on the condition that it takes place in Kuwait. I asked him why he would choose Kuwait in the context of a bilateral dialogue when we are supposed to meet in Saudi Arabia."

Last Tuesday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry announced that it welcomes effective talks with Saudi Arabia to discuss ways of resolving certain regional issues, but meantime underlined that there are certain prerequisites to such negotiations.

"Negotiations between the Iranian and Saudi officials can be, per se, a good and effective issue," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast told reporters, adding that such consultations "can help find proper ways to correct certain countries' wrong behaviors".

"But the important point is when, where and with respect to what conditions should these talks be held. Thus, (our) officials are looking for the most appropriate conditions for doing so and they would take action in this regard once they recognize that the time is appropriate," he added.

The relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia darkened after the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) member states provoked by Riyadh issued a statement at a ministerial meeting in Abu Dhabi earlier this year, accusing Iran of interference in Bahrain's internal affairs.

Iran strongly rejected the claim, and said interference means deploying troops and killing people in a foreign country, alluding to the deployment of the Saudi-led PGCC forces in the Bahrain.

Alluding to the status quo in certain regional countries, including Bahrain, Mehman-Parast reiterated, "Issues happening in different countries are their internal affairs and other countries should not have military and security interference in their internal affairs and all governments should be encouraged to meet the legitimate demands of their people.".

People in Bahrain have been protesting since February 14, demanding an end to the rule of the Al Khalifa dynasty.

In March, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait deployed their troops in Bahrain to reinforce the brutal armed clampdown against mass protests.

Scores of Bahraini protesters have been killed and many others gone missing in the harsh crackdown since the beginning of the revolution in the Middle Eastern country.

Demonstrators maintain that they will hold their ground until their demands for the overthrow of the Al Khalifa dynasty, freedom and constitutional reform are met.

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