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Ahmadinejad invited to Saudi Arabia to discuss Syria

Ahmadinejad invited to Saudi Arabia to discuss Syria

Tehran: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will take part in a meeting of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Saudi Arabia, which will focus on the Syrian conflict, Iran's Mehr news agency reported Monday.

Mohammad Reza Forqani, head of the international affairs in Ahmadinejad's administration, said the president was invited by the Saudi king.

Iran and Saudi Arabia remain at loggerheads because of their stances on Syria. Iran, Syria's closest ally in the region, has repeatedly voiced support for President Bashar al-Assad while the Saudis have called to arm the Syrian opposition.

Saudi King Abdullah invited Ahmadinejad to the conference to be held Aug 15-16, despite the growing tensions between the Sunni-dominated kingdom and the predominantly Shia Islamic republic, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The Syrian conflict has claimed 14,000-20,000 lives since March 2011, according to estimates by various opposition groups and the UN.


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