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News number: 9107169538

11:45 | 2013-05-13

Foriegn Policy

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Iranian, Saudi FMs Discuss Bilateral Ties in Jeddah

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and his Saudi counterpart Saud al-Faisal underlined the need for the expansion of bilateral ties and mutual cooperation.

The meeting took place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Sunday night on the sidelines of a foreign ministerial meeting of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) which is slated to discuss the ongoing crisis in the African state of Mali.

During the meeting, the Iranian and Saudi foreign ministers explored avenues for bolstering and reinvigorating bilateral ties.

Salehi arrived in Jeddah earlier on Sunday to attend OIC foreign ministerial meeting.

The foreign ministers of the OIC contact group on Mali are due to discuss the crisis in Mali and confer on ways to help settle the problems in the African country.

The Iranian foreign minister is also slated to hold talks with his counterparts of the participating countries on the sidelines of the meeting.

Before leaving Tehran, Salehi said he will brief the participants on Iran's viewpoints about the crisis in Mali, and will also hold meetings with a number of officials of the OIC member states.

On February 1, Amnesty International said "serious human rights breaches" - including the killing of children - were occurring in the French war in Mali.

Chaos broke out in the West African country after Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure was toppled in a military coup on March 22, 2012. The coup leaders said they mounted the coup in response to the government's inability to contain the Tuareg rebellion in the North of the country, which had been going on for two months.

However, in the wake of the coup d'état, the Tuareg rebels took control of the entire Northern desert region, but the Ansar Dine extremists then pushed them aside and took control of the region, which is larger than France or Texas.