Deputy FM: Zarif not planning to visit Saudi Arabia

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian dismissed the media reports that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif plans to pay an official visit to Saudi Arabia.

Amir Abdollahian’s remarks came as some Arab-language newspapers reported that Zarif was preparing to visit Riyadh.

“The Iranian foreign minister has no plans to visit Saudi Arabia,” the Iranian deputy foreign minister said on Sunday.

He, however, said that Iran has already invited Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal to visit Tehran.

The London-based newspaper Al-Hayat, which is simultaneously published in Saudi Arabia, quoted sources inside Iran as saying that preparations are made for Zarif to visit Riyadh. The daily reported that no date has been fixed as yet.

In mid-May, the Saudi foreign minister underlined the vital importance of improving relations with Iran, and announced that his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif has been invited to pay an official visit to Riyadh to pave the way for normalizing the bilateral relations.

“Iran is a neighbor, we have relations with them and we will negotiate with them,” the Saudi foreign minister told reporters.

“We will talk with them in the hope that if there are any differences, they will be settled to the satisfaction of both countries,” he added.

Riyadh has so far extended several invitations to senior Iranian officials, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, to visit Saudi Arabia.

Zarif has welcomed the invitations, and declared that he would go to Riyadh in future.

By Fars News Agency


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