Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said the kingdom welcomes Iranian statements for openness toward the Gulf, but that concrete measures on the part of Tehran are what will be considered.
Al-Faisal made the statements during a ceremony in Rome to commemorate 80 years of Saudi-Italian diplomacy.
The meeting between the Saudi minister and his Italian counterpart called fir strengthening economic, political and cultural ties between both countries.
Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino said Italians and Europeans are interested in observing Saudi Arabia’s role in dealing with regional and international affairs.
Last month, Rowhani said that “a key aspect” of his “commitment to constructive interaction entails a sincere effort to engage with neighbors.”
He called for closer ties with Saudi Arabia, hailing the kingdom as a “friend and brother” of Iran,” state-sponsored Tasnim News Agency reported.
He was addressing a meeting of Hajj officials in Tehran saying that his government is “willing to remove trivial tensions from the path (of bilateral ties with Saudi Arabia) in order to fulfill bilateral and the Islamic world’s interests.”
“This issue (expansion of ties) has been emphasized both in the Saudi king’s congratulatory letter to me and in my letter to thank him,” Rowhani added.
The relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran have been tense during the administration of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Both countries have conflicting approaches to regional issues in Lebanon, Syria and Egypt.
The tension between the two major Mideast powers intensified when the United States foiled in October 2011 an Iranian-linked plot to assassinate Saudi ambassador Adel al-Jubeir in Washington.
The incident was referred to as “Iran assassination plot” in the media and was named by the Federal Bureau of Investigation “Operation Red Coalition.”