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Saudi invitation a first step with Iran

Resolving the problems that mar Saudi-Iran relations remain out of reach for now, but Saudi Arabia’s invitation to the Iranian foreign minister to visit the kingdom is an opportunity to calm tensions.
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal attends the opening of an Arab foreign ministers emergency meeting to discuss the Syrian crisis and President Bashar al-Assad's regime, at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, March 9, 2014. The Arab League on Sunday endorsed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's rejection of Israel's demand for recognition as a Jewish state, as U.S.-backed peace talks approach a deadline next month. The United States want Abbas to make the concession as part of effort

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal chose the First Arab Cooperation and Economic Forum with Central Asia and Azerbaijan, strategically important countries to Iran, as the venue to invite the Iranian foreign minister to visit Saudi Arabia and to declare Riyadh’s willingness to negotiate with Iran to resolve their regional differences.

The continuation of the conflict in Syria, the deterioration of the security situation in Iraq and the likely victory of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in the recent Iraqi elections could all push the Sunni-Shiite struggle past the point of no return and threaten everyone’s security and stability, including Iran and Saudi Arabia. Thus, the rational choice for all parties is to control the conflict and stop the slide toward further escalation.

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