World Bulletin / News Desk
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani arrived in the Omani capital, Muscat, on Wednesday on the first leg of a Gulf tour.
The Iranian leader is accompanied by a high-level political delegation and representatives of the private sector, according to Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency.
Rouhani will meet Sultan Qaboos later in the day for talks before leaving for Kuwait, his last stop in his two-leg tour.
Wednesday’s visit comes amid efforts by Kuwait to improve relations between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and Iran.
In a landmark visit last month to Tehran, Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Sabah al-Khalid al-Sabah delivered a message on the importance of Gulf-Iranian relations.
The GCC member states often accuse Iran of meddling in their internal affairs -- claims denied by Tehran.
At a December GCC summit held in Bahrain, the six-nation council tasked Kuwait with establishing contacts with Iran.
The Gulf states fear that Tehran’s nuclear energy program poses a threat to regional security. Tehran, for its part, says its nuclear program is entirely peaceful.
Tension has mounted between the Gulf and Iran since Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Tehran early last year after two Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran were attacked by protesters following Riyadh’s execution of a prominent Shia cleric.
Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies also accuse Tehran of arming and supporting Yemen’s Shia Houthi group, which overran the capital Sanaa and other parts of the country in 2014. The six-year conflict in Syria has also contributed to the deterioration in Gulf-Iran relations.
Since mid-October, Peshmerga have withdrawn from vast majority of ‘disputed’ parts of Iraq, Kurdish official says
Final Istanbul communique calls on world to recognize East Jerusalem ( Al-Quds) as occupied capital of Palestinian state
Nearly 63 percent of 2,000 American participants oppose moving US Embassy to Jerusalem, survey indicates
Tensions continue to mount in occupied territories following US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
Defeat leaves Republicans with razor thin 51-49 majority in Senate
President Donald Trump has not changed his position on North Korea but does not oppose efforts to initiate talks
'Trump you failed to protect your nation,' Akayed Ullah allegedly wrote on Facebook
Vast areas have been destroyed, hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated and thousands of firefighters are working around the clock.
Trade dispute ends Boeing’s CAN$19 billion bid to replace aging CF-18s fighters
One third of those detained are minors, Palestinian activists say
ISIL has recently suffered a string of defeats in Iraq and Syria
Turkish deputy premier says some leading Greek Cypriots say they would prefer to 'drink poison' than use Turkish water
'I want to shoot a movie in Jerusalem when it is liberated,' says Nawras Abu Saleh
After meeting in Ottawa with officials from the nation's 10 provinces and three territories, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said he has agreed to give the provinces 75 percent of the monies.
Maduro's ruling socialists triumphed as expected in mayoral polls Sunday, taking 300 of the country's 335 mayorships after a boycott by the main opposition parties.
US president revises space agency’s policy, undoing Obama’s concentration on Mars