Reuters: Saudi Arabia is not negotiating with Iran to try to broker an end to the political crisis in Lebanon, but the two countries have exchanged messages about Muslim cooperation, the Saudi foreign minister said on Thursday. PARIS, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia is not negotiating with Iran to try to broker an end to the political crisis in Lebanon, but the two countries have exchanged messages about Muslim cooperation, the Saudi foreign minister said on Thursday.
Lebanese political sources said earlier this week that Saudi Arabia and Iran, backers of the main rivals in Lebanon’s crisis, had been holding talks to try to reach an agreement that both sides in Lebanon could sign up to.
Asked about the reports, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said: “There is no initiative really.”
Speaking at a news conference following a donors’ conference on Lebanon, Prince Saud said Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had sent a message to the King of Saudi Arabia to which he had replied.
“The message was an offer to cooperate to achieve solidarity between Muslims,” the prince said.
“The return message was that ‘if this is the intention, then it is actions that speak louder than words, and that if Iran can do anything to quieten its supporters in the region, that this would be the best service that can be done for the solidarity of the Muslims’.
“This was the extent of it,” he said.
Saudi Arabia backs Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora while Iran supports Lebanon’s main opposition party, the Shi’ite Muslim Hezbollah, which is spearheading protests to bring down Siniora’s government.