Khatami to visit Saudi
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, April 15 (UPI) -- A Saudi newspaper, Ukaz, has
reported that Iranian President Mohammad Khatemi will make an official
visit to Saudi Arabia next month, the first by an Iranian president since
the 1979 Islamic revolution.
The newspaper today quoted Mohammad Reza Nouri, Iran's ambassador in
the Saudi capital, Riyadh, as saying Khatemi will hold talks with King
Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz and senior officials on improving bilateral relations.
He did not specify a date, but said the visit will take place before
the middle of May.
Nouri described Iranian-Saudi relations as having ``received a positive
push recently in a way that is cementing ties in all fields.''
Khatemi this week told Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal,
who was in Tehran, that he planned to visit the kingdom ``in the near future''
to see the Islamic holy sites and meet Saudi leaders.
The Iranian leader said Tehran and Riyadh ``should cooperate to avert
a catastrophe of the Muslim Kosovars.''
Meanwhile, on the domestic front, Iranian newspapers today quoted Khatemi
as saying Tehran ``should respect the views of the opposition as long as
their expression is within the constitution.''
He said in a speech Wednesday in the southwestern city of Kharmabad
that it was ``natural for the thinkers and religious scholars to have differing
Khatemi, Iran's first reformist president in 20 years, said ``It is
impossible to forcefully push out the opposition,'' adding that the Iranian
constitution ``secures the rights of everyone.