Saudi, Iran foreign ministers meet in New York

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif hails the meeting as a “new chapter” in bilateral ties

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Saudi and Iranian foreign ministers held a meeting on Sunday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

“This is a new page in relations between the two countries,” Iran's Mohammad Javad Zarif said, quoted on the government’s website.

“We hope this will have a positive impact on restoring peace and security in the region and the world, and for the interests of all Muslim nations,” he said after the talks.

Ties between the two rival Gulf powers have long been strained on a wide variety of issues.

Zarif al-Faisal (IRNA)
Zarif al-Faisal (IRNA)

His Saudi counterpart Prince Saud al-Faisal, referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s (ISIS) onslaught in Iraq and Syria, was quoted as saying: “We believe we must avoid the errors of the past to successfully confront the current crisis.”

Iran and Saudi Arabia are “influential in the region and common cooperation will undeniably have an effect on restoring peace.”

The encounter in New York, where the foreign ministers were to attend the U.N. General Assembly, was the first between the top diplomats of Saudi Arabia and Iran since Iranian President Hassan Rowhani came to power in August 2013.

[With AFP]

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