|Iranian, Saudi foreign ministers hold talks in Jeddah||
TEHRAN – Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal met his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday and called for expansion of ties with Tehran.
Salehi is visiting Jeddah on an official invitation by his Saudi counterpart to attend a ministerial meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Contact Group on the crisis in Mali.
Saudi Arabia was hosting a ministerial meeting of its Mali Contact Group on Monday to discuss ways to help resolve the crisis in the West African country.
During the meeting, Salehi said Tehran is willing to strengthen relations and boost regional cooperation with neighbors.
He said Tehran and Riyadh can establish better ties through more consultation with a focus on issues of mutual concern.
He went on to say that the security of the Persian Gulf countries is closely linked, emphasizing that cooperation between Iran and Saudi Arabia can increase the security in the region.
Faisal, for his part, reiterated that Iran is a great country that enjoys a high position in the world especially among Muslims.
Salehi also delivered a speech at the OIC conference on Monday, putting forward a number of suggestions to help resolve the crisis in Mali.
He called on the OIC to promote cooperation with the Malian transitional government and the African Union to stop the presence and interference of foreign troops in the African country.
The Iranian foreign minister also held a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart Mohamed Kamel Amr on the sidelines of the conference, discussing issues of common concern, including the Syrian crisis.
In addition, he held a separate meeting with OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu on the same day in which they discussed the Syrian issue. The two sides called for diplomatic means to solve the crisis in the Arab country and end the violence as soon as possible.
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