In a joint communiqué issued in Jeddah today at the end of the five-day official visit to the Kingdom by President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mohammed Khatami, Saudi Arabia and Iran underscored the importance of bilateral cooperation and the enhancement of the pillars of Islamic solidarity. They also endorsed the role being played by the Jeddah-based Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). During the visit, which came in response to an official invitation from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz, the two leaders held talks and exchanged views on issues of mutual interest in a fraternal atmosphere, reviewing bilateral relations and a number of regional, Islamic and international issues, and expressing satisfaction at the promotion of Saudi/Iranian relations.
Saudi Arabia and Iran urged the countries of the region to cement their relations on the basis of mutual respect, non-interference in each other's domestic affairs, and coexistence based on the ties of religion and heritage, for the benefit of their mutual interests, and in order to enhance the pillars of security and stability. They reiterated the importance of settling disputes, misunderstandings and differences by means of direct dialogue and understanding. The Saudi side praised the policy adopted by Iranian President Mohammed Khatami for improvement of relations with the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The two sides hoped that contacts and exchange of visits would yield positive results and enhance mutual confidence.
Underlining the importance of preserving Iraq's independence, sovereignty and regional unity, the two sides expressed sympathy with the Iraqi people and confirmed their determination to work for an end to their sufferings. They urged Iraq to comply with international will and carry out all resolutions adopted by the Security Council of the United Nations.
The two sides deplored the savage practices of Israel, saying they contradict international principles and laws, and calling for an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and for the Palestinian people to be enabled to carry out their right to establish an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital. They deplored the Israeli policy that aims at the judaization of Jerusalem, and urged the international community to take a firm stance in confronting Israel in this respect. The two sides expressed support of Syria and called for an end to Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights. They expressed support for the Lebanese resistance and called for unconditional Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon in line with UN Resolution 425.
The communiqué called for non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and urged all countries that have not yet signed the relevant treaties to do so. The communiqué called for making the Middle East a zone free from weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear arms. The two sides viewed the Israeli policy of producing and storing such weapons as a threat to the region's peace and security.
Expressing deep anxiety over the deteriorating situation in Kosovo, the two sides condemned the racial cleansing policy adopted by the Serbs and called for a just settlement to the problem based on withdrawal of the Serbian troops from Kosovo and their replacement by international forces.
The two sides also expressed anxiety over the situation in Afghanistan, and reiterated the importance of preservation of that country's independence and unity.
The communiqué deplored all forms of terrorism and called for unified international efforts under the supervision of the United Nations in order to confront this phenomenon.
Turning to the situation in the petroleum market, the two sides expressed satisfaction over the outcome of the decision adopted by OPEC at its meeting in March, 1999, and confirmed their determination to continue with cooperation in this respect so as to ensure the stability and improvement of the oil market in a manner that benefits both consumers and producers.
The two sides underlined the importance of activating bilateral commercial cooperation and called for removal of barriers that impede the development of commercial exchange. President Khatami expressed appreciation of the warm welcome given to him and his accompanying delegation, and extended an invitation to King Fahd to visit Iran. King Fahd has accepted the invitation.