File - Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal bin Abdulaziz attends the closing session of the 25th Arab League summit at the Bayan Palace in Kuwait City on March 26, 2014. AFP PHOTO/YASSER AL-ZAYYAT
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Saudi Arabia has invited Iran's foreign minister to make an official visit to the kingdom, Riyadh said Tuesday, hinting at the possibility of a thaw in relations between two bitter rivals whose struggle for influence is evident in conflicts throughout the region.Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has adopted a conciliatory tone toward Tehran's neighbors since taking office last year, but while Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has visited other Gulf Arab states, he has not yet been to Saudi Arabia. Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal told a news conference that Zarif had been given an invitation to the kingdom but that despite Iran's past declarations of a wish to improve ties, the visit had not transpired. He did not say when Riyadh issued the invitation or if Iran had formally responded. Saudi Arabia and Iran have long supported competing factions in Arab countries, often along sectarian lines.
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