Salehi: Top priority is boosting ties in Islamic world

December 18, 2010 13:48


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Iranian atomic agency chief Ali Akbar Salehi, who officially took over the position of the Islamic republic's new foreign minister on Saturday, said Teheran's top priority will be to increase ties with Saudi Arabia and Turkey, reported AFP.

Salehi was appointed interim foreign minister after his predecessor, Manouchehr Mottaki, was fired by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"Iran's first priority in diplomacy should be neighbours and the Islamic world. In this regard, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have a special position," Salehi was quoted as saying by Mehr news agency after he was sworn in as foreign minister, AFP reported.

"Saudi Arabia deserves to have special political ties with Iran. Iran and Saudi Arabia, as two effective countries in the Islamic world, can resolve many problems together," he said.

On Europe, Salehi said Iran and the European Union too would "benefit" if the EU changed its position towards Teheran from "confrontation to engagement as soon as possible."

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