January 18, 2017 / 12:12 PM / 8 months ago

Iran's Zarif wants cooperation with Saudi over Syria and Yemen

Javad Zarif, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran attends the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, January 18, 2017. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Iran and Saudi Arabia should be able to work together to help end conflicts in Syria and Yemen, after successfully cooperating over Lebanon last year, Iran’s foreign minister said.

“I do not see any reason why Iran and Saudi Arabia should have hostile policies towards each other. We can in fact work together to put an end to miserable conditions of the people in Syria and Yemen and Bahrain and elsewhere in the region,” Mohammad Javad Zarif told the World Economic Forum.

“Iran and Saudi Arabia were able to actually stop impeding the process of the presidential election in Lebanon. We have a success story,” Zarif said in Davos on Wednesday.

Michel Aoun, a Christian leader, was elected president of Lebanon last week. Aoun is a close ally of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, an Iran-backed Shi‘ite Muslim group, and Iran welcomed Aoun’s election as a victory for Hezbollah.

Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shi‘ite Iran also back opposing factions in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Bahrain.

Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov; Editing by Alexander Smith

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