Khatami to Prince Sultan: Your visit is a gift for us
Saudi Arabia-Iran, Politics, 5/4/1999
Iranian President Muhammad Khatami on Monday in Tehran received Saudi Defense Minister Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz in his visit to Iran.
Following the meeting, the Iranian president said that the visit of Prince Sultan and the visit held by the Saudi crown prince upon the convening of the recent conference for the Organization of the Islamic Conference in Tehran together with telephone conversations and correspondence "between me and Crown Prince Abdullah all assert that the two countries are determined to develop their relations and consolidate them."
Prince Sultan presented President Khatami with a gift representing a blueprint for the "black stone," saying, "I think that this gift is your most favorite, if God wills you will see this stone during your forthcoming visit to Saudi Arabia."
The Iranian president replied, "Our greater gift is your visit to us in Iran."
In statements to reporters following the meeting, President Khatami stressed the two visits paid by Crown Prince Abdullah and Prince Sultan to Iran constituted a big stride in developing and strengthening relations between the two countries. President Khatami described Saudi Arabia as the "brotherly fraternal state."
Following the meeting, the Iranian president and Prince Sultan held a closed-door meeting which lasted for half an hour. The Iranian president described Saudi Arabia and Iran as "the two most important Muslim states in the world who are seeking to develop their relations in all spheres that serve the interests of the two peoples."
The Iranian president asserted that there are no obstacles before the development of cooperation between the two countries in all fields.
Prince Sultan said that talks center on "serving Islam and the interests of the region as a whole."
Prince Sultan said that talks held with President Khatami centered on the "service of Islam and the region."
The minister will meet today with the spiritual leader of the Iranian Revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamanei. Iranian diplomatic sources in Tehran said the "meeting will be important and will clearly reveal the openness of various Iranian trends toward relations with Saudi Arabia."
The Saudi minister will meet on Wednesday with the speaker of the Iranian parliament, Nateq Nouri.
Replying to a question asked by one journalist on the desire of various Iranian movements to maintain strong relations with Saudi Arabia, the Iranian defense minister said, "Everybody has the political will to foster relations with Saudi Arabia. These include all movements, conservatives and reformers alike."
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