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Security accord to strengthen Saudi-Iran ties
  Riyadh, 11th Apr 2001

   A security agreement to be reached between Saudi Arabia and Iran during the visit of Saudi Minister of the Interior, Prince Naif bin Abdel Aziz, on Sunday will boost relations not only between the two countries but also Arab-Iran ties as well, sources said. The agreement will cover all security issues such as border control, movement of people between the two countries and combating drugs.

  Prince Naif's talks in Teheran with President Mohammed Khatami and senior officials will boost ties between the two countries and will have an effect on relations between GCC and Iran. Sources refused to confirm or deny whether these talks will tackle the issue of Iran's occupation of the three UAE islands. "This issue is not within the Interior Minister's jurisdiction, but strong ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran in general may push Iran to negotiate with the UAE. This issue blocks rapid development of ties between GCC countries and Iran," sources said.

  On Iran's refusal to include the extradition of criminals in the security agreement and whether this stand has to do with Al Khobar explosion in 1996, sources said Iran sees extradition as a judicial issue and not within the jurisdiction of the ministries of interior. Saudi sources did not rule out that security cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Iran may help nab culprits behind the Khobar explosion.

Source: Gulf News

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