Saudi calls on Iran to sign a security accord
RIYADH, Oct 26 (AFP) - Saudi Arabia is ready to sign a security cooperation
agreement with Iran, Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz said,
urging Tehran to push ahead with the accord.
"The Saudi kingdom is ready to sign a security agreement with Iran,"
he told a press conference late Wednesday, and called on Iran "to
give a positive response to signing the agreement."
"We are filled with the hope of establishing security cooperation
between the Saudi kingdom and Iran," he said after a meeting of the
six Persian Gulf Arab monarchies.
A week ago the prince said Tehran "still does not have a full view
of what the security agreement could be that should be drawn up between
the two countries, that is the reason for the delay," in signing.
Ties between the two major Persian Gulf powers have warmed considerably
since the May 1997 election of President Mohammad Khatami, after a long
period of hostility following the 1979 Islamic revolution.
The interior ministers of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia
and the United Arab Emirates ended Wendesday a two-day meeting in Riyadh
on "cooperation in the struggle against organised crime, drugs and
money laundering," according to an official statement.
The ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) expressed determination
to strengthen cooperation over security.
Nayef also called on Kuwait and Qatar to sign up to a GCC security agreement,
although he said Qatar intends to sign.
Kuwait wants several amendments to the collective security accord.
On Yemen, Nayef said he would meet Sanaa's Interior Minister Hussein
Arab next week to select a company to lay border markers following the
agreement in June to draw up the international frontier between the two
neighbours, ending a dispute which had dragged on for several decades.