|Iranian president, Omani sultan hold high-profile meeting||
TEHRAN – Iranian President Hassan Rohani and Oman’s Sultan Qaboos held a high-profile meeting at the Saadabad Palace in Tehran on Sunday afternoon.
Oman’s Sultan Qaboos arrived in Tehran at the head of a high-ranking delegation on Sunday. Sultan Qaboos was welcomed by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif upon his arrival at Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport earlier in the day.
During the meeting, Rohani said cooperation between Iran and Oman is essential to help restore peace and stability in the region.
Rohani said that the Islamic Republic is keen to strengthen its ties with “friendly” and “brotherly” country of Oman in various areas, particularly in economic sectors.
He also hailed the efforts of Omani king to expand bilateral relations in political and economic areas.
During his three-day visit, Sultan Qaboos is scheduled to hold meetings with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani.
Sultan Qaboos is the first head of state to visit Tehran for bilateral talks since Rohani officially took office on August 3.
The sultan of Oman was also the first foreign ruler to visit Iran after the reelection of Rohani’s predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in 2009.
Oman and Iran, which share control of the strategic Strait of Hormuz, maintain friendly relations. Oman has mediated between Iran and the United States -- which cut diplomatic ties shortly after Iran’s Islamic Revolution of 1979 -- in a number of cases, including the case of three U.S. citizens who were arrested in Iran in 2009 on illegal entry and espionage charges and were released during 2010 and 2011.
In its latest successful mediation effort, Oman secured the release of Mojtaba Atarodi, an Iranian scientist held by U.S. since late 2011 on charges of violating U.S. sanctions, in April 2013.
Foreign media outlets had claimed that the Omani ruler was carrying messages from West to Iranian officials about Tehran’s nuclear program.
“We do not know that the king of Oman is carrying messages but we are ready to discuss different issues that he will be willing to raise and there are issues which we are interested to raise,” Zarif told reporters at the airport.
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