(MENAFN - Arab News) Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah yesterday congratulated Hassan Rowhani on his election as the new president of Iran, while welcoming the new leader's gesture to improve bilateral ties.
"We are glad to congratulate you in the name of the people and government of Saudi Arabia ... wishing greater progress and prosperity for the people of the brotherly Islamic Republic of Iran," the king told Rowhani in a message carried by the SPA.
King Abdullah commended Rowhani's desire to strengthen cooperation and improve relations with Saudi Arabia as expressed in his statements. Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, also sent a similar congratulatory cable to Rowhani.
The leaders of other GCC countries such as UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and Oman have also congratulated the new Iranian president.
"We look forward to working together for the good of this region and the Emirati and Iranian peoples," the UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan wrote in a telegram to Rowhani, state news agency WAM reported.
"We are keen to forge relations based on cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran," he added.
The GCC countries have been wary of their neighbor, mainly over its nuclear ambitions.
Meanwhile, the 56-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation also congratulated the new Iranian president and wished him every success in administering the country's affairs.
"Iran is one of OIC's founding members and an active member of the organization," said Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, OIC secretary-general.