Iran, Saudi Arabia discuss facilitating Haj pilgrimage

Tehran, May 16 : Iran's Finance Minister Ehsan Khandouzi said that his country and Saudi Arabia have discussed ways to facilitate the Haj pilgrimage for Iranians and boost economic cooperation between the two nations. Khandouzi made the remarks when elaborating on the outcomes of the meeting with his Saudi counterpart Mohammed Aljadaan in the Saudi city of Jeddah last week on the sidelines of the Annual Meetings of the Islamic Development Bank Group, Xinhua news agency reported. Khandouz said they discussed facilitating the process of the Haj pilgrimage for Iranians in terms of the banking issues and flights, as well as trips to Saudi Arabia by Iranian traders, stressing that the Saudi side welcomed holding talks on the topics. The two ministers also discussed the resumption of bilateral political relations, said Khandouz, adding that the Saudi side called for preparing the ground as soon as possible for improving the economic ties. They agreed on cooperation in making joint investments in the areas of technology-based product manufacturing, medicine, nanobiotechnology, power plant construction, transportation, and road construction. The Iranian minister said it was decided that within three months, Iranian and Saudi private delegations as well as managing directors of the two countries' leading companies should hold "constructive" meetings to enhance cooperation. In March, Saudi Arabia and Iran reached in Beijing a groundbreaking agreement to resume diplomatic relations and reopen their embassies and missions within two months. On April 6, the two countries officially announced in China the resumption of diplomatic relations with immediate effect. /IANS


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