Saudi Arabia, Iran Set to Sign Landmark Security Accord Monday
Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz arrived in Tehran Sunday to sign a landmark accord with Iranian authorities “expected to reap security and economic benefits for the whole region,” according to AFP.
"We and our brothers in Iran want to install security in the region as well as share a mutual respect of bilateral security," Prince Nayef said last week, cited by AFP.
The prince will sign the security accord, originally due to be inked in February, with his Iranian counterpart Abdolvahed Mussavi-Lari.
"This accord will have positive repercussions on the security and economic situation in the two countries, as well as the whole of the Gulf region," the prince said in statements published Thursday.
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi has described the accord as an "important development in relations" that will "have an impact on the whole region."
The accord, which has taken two years to negotiate, focuses on the fight against crime, terrorism and money laundering, and surveillance of borders and territorial waters.
"The role of Tehran and Riyadh in settlement of the ongoing crises and problems facing Muslim countries, especially Palestine, are among issues that necessitate expansion of bilateral ties by Iranian and Saudi officials," an Iranian official told the official IRNA news agency.
Exchange of visits by high ranking Iranian and Saudi officials, especially President Mohammed Khatami's visit to Saudi Arabia in 1999 marked the climax and a new phase of ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia, the official added.
The deal between the two most powerful countries of the region is purely related to mutual security and "has no military dimension," notably relating the Gulf, Prince Nayef said.
Tehran and Riyadh broke off relations in 1988, a year after Iranian Muslim pilgrims in Mecca clashed with Saudi police during an anti-US protest leaving more than 400 dead.
Ties were renewed in 1991 and relations between the two countries have greatly improved since the Khatami's election in 1997 - Albawaba.com
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