Volume. 12227

Iran describes Saudi talks as "positive and constructive"
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TEHRAN -- Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian said Tuesday he had held a "positive and constructive" meeting with Saudi Arabia's foreign minister in Riyadh.
"The meeting took place in a very positive and constructive atmosphere," Abdollahian told Reuters by telephone.
Amir Abdollahian's visit is the first by a senior Iranian official for talks with the kingdom since moderate President Hassan Rouhani was elected last summer and pledged to improve Tehran's frosty relations with its Arab neighbors.
Saudi Arabia and Iran back opposing sides in wars and political struggles in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Bahrain and vie for influence across the Middle East.
However, both Tehran and Riyadh were aghast at the rapid advances made by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in June and July.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif continued his own visit to Iraq Tuesday, meeting Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani.

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