Minister: Saudi Arabia to Sign Security Pact with Iran Soon
Saudi Interior Minister Nayef bin Abdul Aziz said Monday he would visit Iran shortly to sign an historic security agreement, the first between Tehran and a Gulf monarchy.
"The agreement is almost ready," Prince Nayef told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, saying the accord focused on combating crime, terrorism and money laundering, and controling the borders and territorial waters of both countries.
"It is a purely security agreement and has no military dimension concerning security in the Gulf," the prince said, adding he would visit Iran "very shortly" for the signing.
Prince Nayef's Iranian counterpart Abdol-Vahed Mussavi-Lari confirmed on January 2 that the text of the agreement had been finalized by experts on both sides and would be signed during a visit by the Saudi minister.
Iranian President Mohammed Khatami, who visited Saudi Arabia in May, has worked to improve Tehran's relations with Riyadh since his 1997 election.
Saudi King Fahd has since officially invited Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to visit the kingdom for a pilgrimage to Islamic holy sites, the first such invitation since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution.
The two Gulf nations broke off relations for four years after more than 400 people were killed in 1987 clashes between Saudi security forces and Iranian pilgrims in Mecca demonstrating against Israel and the United States -- RIYADH (AFP)
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