Monday, May 19, 2008

Asia Times Online :: Middle East News, Iraq, Iran current affairs

...Indeed, King Abdullah seemed to quickly dissociate himself from his foreign
minister's dire warning to Iran. On Wednesday, the Saudi ambassador in Tehran,
Osama bin Ahmad al-Sonosi, called on the chairman of Iran's Expediency Council,
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, to hand over a letter from the Saudi monarch
containing an invitation to the Iranian cleric leader to visit Riyadh to attend
the International Islamic Dialogue Conference. The Saudi ambassador reportedly
said, "King Abdullah believes you [Rafsanjani] have a great stature in the
Islamic world ... and he has assigned me the duty of inviting you to the

Rafsanjani expressed his appreciation for the "special invitation" and bemoaned
that "disagreements" in the Islamic world involving both politicians and
clerics have alas created an "undesirable situation". He added the conflicts in
certain Islamic countries, especially Iraq and Lebanon, had widened the "chasms
between Muslims". He expressed the hope the Islamic Dialogue Conference could
"moderate the atmosphere and facilitate cooperation between Islamic states". In
turn, the Saudi envoy underscored that "through the conference, we [Riyadh] are
seeking to promote unity in the Islamic world".

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