Kharrazi from Damascus: Saudi Arabia is Influential in Islamic World

The seminar held at Al-Assad National Library in the Umayyad Square in Damascus
The seminar held at Al-Assad National Library in the Umayyad Square in Damascus
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Kharrazi from Damascus: Saudi Arabia is Influential in Islamic World

The seminar held at Al-Assad National Library in the Umayyad Square in Damascus
The seminar held at Al-Assad National Library in the Umayyad Square in Damascus

The head of the Strategic Committee for Iranian Foreign Relations, Kamal Kharrazi, said Iran considers Saudi Arabia “a major country in the region and influential in the Islamic world.”

Kharrazi’s remarks came during his participation in a political seminar, entitled “The Iranian Foreign Policy”, organized by the Diplomatic Institute at the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran considers the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to be a large country in the region and influential in the Islamic world, and neither Iran nor Saudi Arabia can exclude one another,” the official Syrian news agency, SANA, quoted the Iranian official as saying.

The Strategic Committee for Iranian Foreign Relations reports to the office of the Iranian Supreme Leader, who considers Kharrazi one of his most prominent advisers in diplomatic and international affairs.

Kharrazi - a former Iranian foreign minister in the government of ex-reformist President Mohammad Khatami - expressed optimism about the quadripartite meeting between Russia, Iran, Türkiye and Syria.

“We are very optimistic that there will be a breakthrough in the Syrian-Turkish relations through these meetings. Naturally, we will take into consideration the Syrian interests as a brotherly country,” he said.

The seminar, which was held at Al-Assad National Library in the Umayyad Square in Damascus, was attended by a number of ambassadors and political, cultural and religious figures.

Kharrazi is accompanied by Abbas Araghchi, who is a former deputy foreign minister and chief nuclear negotiator for Iran in the previous government.

The Iranian embassy in Damascus stated on Twitter that Kharrazi met with Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Meqdad, noting that the purpose of the visit was to “follow up previous meetings to reach strategic conclusions over the relations between the two countries and regional developments, within the framework of the responsibilities of the Strategic Committee for Foreign Relations.”

The Iranian official’s comments follow an announcement by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian on Sunday that he would hold a meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan “in the near future.”

“We proposed 3 locations to hold the meeting,” he said, adding that an agreement was reached to dispatch technical delegations in preparation for the opening of the two embassies.

The Iranian minister also noted that the relationship with Riyadh returned to normal after five rounds of talks in Baghdad.



Saudi, British FMs Discuss Means to Support Political Solution in Sudan

17 May 2023, Saudi Arabia, Jeddah: Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah attends Arab league's foreign ministers meeting ahead of the Arab League summit on 19 May in Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
17 May 2023, Saudi Arabia, Jeddah: Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah attends Arab league's foreign ministers meeting ahead of the Arab League summit on 19 May in Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
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Saudi, British FMs Discuss Means to Support Political Solution in Sudan

17 May 2023, Saudi Arabia, Jeddah: Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah attends Arab league's foreign ministers meeting ahead of the Arab League summit on 19 May in Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
17 May 2023, Saudi Arabia, Jeddah: Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah attends Arab league's foreign ministers meeting ahead of the Arab League summit on 19 May in Saudi Arabia. (SPA)

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah received on Monday a telephone call from his British counterpart James Cleverly.

The officials discussed Saudi Arabia’s efforts to support political solutions to the conflict in Sudan.

They tackled the Kingdom’s intense efforts to bridge the divide between the warring Sudanese parties, as demonstrated by its hosting of the Jeddah negotiations earlier this month.

The parties in Jeddah agreed to a temporary ceasefire and delivery of humanitarian aid.

Prince Faisal and Cleverly also discussed bilateral relations and coordination between Riyadh and London and means to bolster them.


Iran’s Khamenei Welcomes Better Ties with Egypt

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei meets with Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq in Tehran, Iran May 29, 2023. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via Reuters
Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei meets with Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq in Tehran, Iran May 29, 2023. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via Reuters
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Iran’s Khamenei Welcomes Better Ties with Egypt

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei meets with Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq in Tehran, Iran May 29, 2023. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via Reuters
Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei meets with Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq in Tehran, Iran May 29, 2023. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via Reuters

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said in a meeting with Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq that Tehran welcomes better diplomatic relations with Egypt, Iranian state media reported on Monday.

Relations between Egypt and Iran have often been fraught in recent decades although the two countries have maintained diplomatic contacts.

Khamenei's comments came as Middle Eastern countries including Egypt are taking steps to ease regional tensions. In March, Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed to restore diplomatic relations under a China-mediated deal.

Sultan Haitham had arrived in Iran on a two-day visit on Sunday.

He met with President Ebrahim Raisi upon his arrival.

Sultan Haitham headed a large delegation including the ministers of defense, foreign affairs, economy and investment.

Oman and Iran agreed to prepare a document on strategic cooperation that covers all fields, said a statement at the conclusion of the royal’s visit on Monday.

They also signed four economic cooperation and investment agreements.


KSrelief Provides New Health Care Services to Syrian Refugees, Host Communities in Lebanon's Akkar

KSrelief Provides New Health Care Services to Syrian Refugees, Host Communities in Lebanon's Akkar
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KSrelief Provides New Health Care Services to Syrian Refugees, Host Communities in Lebanon's Akkar

KSrelief Provides New Health Care Services to Syrian Refugees, Host Communities in Lebanon's Akkar

The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) continued implementing a project to enhance health care services for Syrian refugees and the host communities in Akkar Governorate, Lebanon.

During April 2023, as many as 822 patients were received, and 1,464 services were provided in different clinics.

This aid comes within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's keenness, represented by the KSrelief, to provide humanitarian assistance to the needy and Syrian refugees in all fields to alleviate their suffering.


Ninth Saudi Relief Plane Arrives in Sudan

Ninth Saudi Relief Plane Arrives in Sudan
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Ninth Saudi Relief Plane Arrives in Sudan

Ninth Saudi Relief Plane Arrives in Sudan

The ninth Saudi relief plane arrived at Port Sudan International Airport on Sunday.

The aid included 30 tons of foodstuff and medical supplies, as part of the Saudi relief airlift operated by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) to help the Sudanese people.

This comes in implementation of the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia.

Delivering aid is a reflection of the noble humanitarian role played by the Kingdom through KSrelief in all countries in need.


Saudi Leadership Congratulates Erdogan on His Reelection as President of Türkiye

Turkish President and People's Alliance's presidential candidate Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures to supporters at the presidential palace, in Ankara, Türkiye, Sunday, May 28, 2023. (AP)
Turkish President and People's Alliance's presidential candidate Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures to supporters at the presidential palace, in Ankara, Türkiye, Sunday, May 28, 2023. (AP)
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Saudi Leadership Congratulates Erdogan on His Reelection as President of Türkiye

Turkish President and People's Alliance's presidential candidate Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures to supporters at the presidential palace, in Ankara, Türkiye, Sunday, May 28, 2023. (AP)
Turkish President and People's Alliance's presidential candidate Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures to supporters at the presidential palace, in Ankara, Türkiye, Sunday, May 28, 2023. (AP)

The Saudi leadership congratulated on Sunday Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his reelection for a new tern.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz sent a cable of congratulations to the leader, wishing him and the brotherly Turkish people further progress and prosperity.

He hailed the “brotherly relations that bind our countries and peoples that we are seeking to bolster and develop in all fields.”

Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, dispatched a similar cable to Erdogan.


Oman’s Sultan Arrives in Iran for Two-Day Visit, Meetings with Iranian President and Top Officials

In this photo released by the office of the Iranian Presidency, Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, front right, is welcomed by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, front left, during an official welcoming ceremony at the Saadabad Palace in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, May 28, 2023. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)
In this photo released by the office of the Iranian Presidency, Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, front right, is welcomed by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, front left, during an official welcoming ceremony at the Saadabad Palace in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, May 28, 2023. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)
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Oman’s Sultan Arrives in Iran for Two-Day Visit, Meetings with Iranian President and Top Officials

In this photo released by the office of the Iranian Presidency, Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, front right, is welcomed by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, front left, during an official welcoming ceremony at the Saadabad Palace in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, May 28, 2023. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)
In this photo released by the office of the Iranian Presidency, Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, front right, is welcomed by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, front left, during an official welcoming ceremony at the Saadabad Palace in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, May 28, 2023. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)

Oman's ruler arrived Sunday in Tehran for talks with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and other top officials, state television reported.

Sultan Haitham bin Tariq was officially welcomed by Raisi at the capital's Saadabad Palace, state media said.

The sultan's visit followed an official invitation by the Iranian president. It is his first visit to Iran since he ascended the throne.

Iranian television said Sultan Haitham headed a large delegation including the ministers of defense, foreign affairs, economy and investment.

State-run IRNA news agency said investment, oil and gas issues will be discussed during the Omani’s ruler's stay in the Iranian capital.


Pope, MWL Secretary-General Discuss Means to Confront Religious Extremism

Pope Francis and Secretary-General of the Muslim World League (MWL) Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa meet at the Vatican. (MWL)
Pope Francis and Secretary-General of the Muslim World League (MWL) Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa meet at the Vatican. (MWL)
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Pope, MWL Secretary-General Discuss Means to Confront Religious Extremism

Pope Francis and Secretary-General of the Muslim World League (MWL) Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa meet at the Vatican. (MWL)
Pope Francis and Secretary-General of the Muslim World League (MWL) Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa meet at the Vatican. (MWL)

Pope Francis received in the Vatican on Sunday Secretary-General of the Muslim World League (MWL) Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa.

The extraordinary meeting reflects the efforts carried out by the MWL in bolstering effective dialogue, understanding and positive cooperation between followers of different religions, faiths and cultures.

The meeting was held at the Pope’s private residence at Domus Sanctae Marthae.

Pope Francis and Sheikh Al-Issa exchanged views on several international issues, most notably building bridges between civilizations and efforts to combat religious and ideological extremism, hatred, marginalization and discrimination.


Oman’s FM to Asharq Al-Awsat: Sultan Haitham’s Visit to Iran Will Positively Impact Region

Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tariq and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Muscat. (ONA file photo)
Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tariq and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Muscat. (ONA file photo)
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Oman’s FM to Asharq Al-Awsat: Sultan Haitham’s Visit to Iran Will Positively Impact Region

Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tariq and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Muscat. (ONA file photo)
Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tariq and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Muscat. (ONA file photo)

Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tariq will kick off on Sunday an official two-day visit to Iran, his first since ascending the throne in 2020.

He is set to meet with President Ebrahim Raisi and a number of senior officials.

The Sultan is traveling at the head of a large delegation that includes the ministers of defense, foreign affairs, economy and investment.

The visit is taking place amid a wave of regional reconciliations, the most recent of which was the reinstatement of Syria’s membership in the Arab League and the announcement in March that Saudi Arabia and Iran were reestablishing diplomatic ties.

Foreign Minister Badr bin Hamad Al Busaidi told Asharq Al-Awsat that the region is embarking on a new positive phase in regional relations.

Cooperation and consultations must be deepened in several files and issues to consolidate the new phase, which will no doubt be at the heart of discussions between the leaders, he remarked.

He noted that Oman and Iran enjoy historic fraternal relations based on firm principles of trust and mutual respect. The visit stems from the importance the leaderships of both countries place on cooperation and consultations on various regional and international issues.

“In Oman, we are hoping that this historic visit will reflect positively on the stability and security of the region and on relations between the region’s neighbors,” the FM stressed.

“We will work on ensuring that its outcomes will be felt on the regional and international levels,” he went on to say.


EgyptAir Flight from Cairo Blows Tire during Landing in Saudi Arabia

Flight MS643 took off from Cairo international airport early Sunday and one of its tires burst during landing at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah. (AFP file photo)
Flight MS643 took off from Cairo international airport early Sunday and one of its tires burst during landing at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah. (AFP file photo)
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EgyptAir Flight from Cairo Blows Tire during Landing in Saudi Arabia

Flight MS643 took off from Cairo international airport early Sunday and one of its tires burst during landing at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah. (AFP file photo)
Flight MS643 took off from Cairo international airport early Sunday and one of its tires burst during landing at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah. (AFP file photo)

An EgyptAir jetliner blew out a tire but made a safe landing at its destination early Sunday in Saudi Arabia, Egypt’s national carrier said. No causalities were reported.

Flight MS643 took off from Cairo international airport early Sunday and one of its tires burst during landing at King Abdulaziz International Airport in the Saudi coastal city of Jeddah, EgyptAir said in a statement.

The Boeing 738 made a safe landing on the runway and all passengers have disembarked the airplane with no injuries reported, the statement said.

The airline didn’t elaborate on what caused the problem, and said an examination and maintenance of the plane were underway.


Saudi Arabia, US Call on Sudanese Army, RSF to Continue Talks to Extend Ceasefire

Smoke billows behind buildings in southern Khartoum, on May 27, 2023, amid ongoing fighting between the forces of two rival generals. (AFP)
Smoke billows behind buildings in southern Khartoum, on May 27, 2023, amid ongoing fighting between the forces of two rival generals. (AFP)
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Saudi Arabia, US Call on Sudanese Army, RSF to Continue Talks to Extend Ceasefire

Smoke billows behind buildings in southern Khartoum, on May 27, 2023, amid ongoing fighting between the forces of two rival generals. (AFP)
Smoke billows behind buildings in southern Khartoum, on May 27, 2023, amid ongoing fighting between the forces of two rival generals. (AFP)

Saudi Arabia and the United States called on Saturday the Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces to continue discussions to reach agreement on extending the ceasefire that is set to expire on Monday evening.

As facilitators of the Agreement on a Short-Term Ceasefire and Humanitarian Arrangements, the Kingdom and the US noted that “while imperfect, an extension nonetheless will facilitate the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance to the Sudanese people.”

“In the absence of an agreement to extend the current ceasefire, it remains incumbent on the parties to adhere to their obligations under the short-term ceasefire and the preceding Declaration of Commitment to Protect the Civilians of Sudan,” they stressed.