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Israel concerned over Iran-Saudi cooperation

Brussels, March 6, IRNA - Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni appeared to be criticizing Monday Saudi Arabia for receiving Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"Ahmadinejad is a leader who denies the Holocaust, who calls the Jews to go back to Europe, says about his vision of wiping Israel off the map. He should not be accepted as member of the international community," Livni told a press conference in Brussels following the EU-Israel Association meeting Monday evening.

"Now he is being received in Saudi Arabia and last year he was received in the United Nations" she said.

Ahmadinejad made his first official visit to meet Saudi King Abdullah in Riyadh on Saturday and the two countries pledge to work for Muslim unity.

Turning to relations with the EU, Livni said the last years we have seen a good change in relations between the EU and Israel especially in the economic sector.

"We have some differences when it comes to the situation of the region," she noted.

On the question of the EU re-starting its cooperation with new Palestinian national unity government once established, she said that our expectations from the international community is to stick to their own demands, "to keep the pressure on the extremists while working with the moderates."

On his part, German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President-in-office of the Council said the three criteria - recognition of Israel, renunciation of armed struggle and acceptance of past agreements - are part of the road map, and been repeated by the Quartet.

"If the future Palestinian government gives a clear commitment to these criteria, there will be no obstacle to the preparation of cooperation with such government," said Steinmeier.

EU Commissioner for external relations, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, said first a national unity government has to be formed and then we have to see what actions it will take.

"We have already started thinking about preliminary ideas of cooperation," she added.

Berri lauds Iran's role in solving Lebanese crisis

Beirut, March 5, IRNA - Lebanese Parliament speaker, Nabih Berri, on Monday lauded Iran's role and cooperation in seeking a solution to Lebanon's current crisis.

The speaker said that Iran's role is in line with other attempts underway towards forging national unity in Lebanon and preventing any effort to cause religious unrests.

Expressing satisfaction over the outcome of the recent meeting between the heads of states of Iran and Saudi Arabia, he predicted that the result of their talks will be disclosed within 48 hours.

Meanwhile, Berri said that a new scheme for solving the crisis in Lebanon has been brought up, but did not give the details.

After the fruitful talks between the Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Larijani and Saudi National Security Council Secretary Bandar Bin Sultan on the problems facing the world of Islam, including Lebanon's crisis, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad conferred with the Saudi King Abdullah on the issue last Saturday (March 3).

Middle East developments, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran's nuclear issue were high on the agenda of talks between the two heads of state.

At the meeting, Ahmadinejad underlined that Iran is prepared to help Lebanon in case it seeks assistance towards achieving national unity and safeguarding its independence.

The Iranian president declared at the meeting that Lebanon's dignity and integrity of the Lebanese nation is what Iran is seeking, urging that attention should be paid to the demands of Lebanese people as well as the Iraqi nation.

... Payvand News - 3/6/07 ... --

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