Iran Foreign Minister holds Yemen talks in neutral Oman
TEHRAN - Iran's foreign minister held talks in neutral Oman Tuesday about ending the conflict in Yemen where a Saudi-led coalition is waging a bombing campaign against Tehran-backed rebels, Iranian media reported.
Oman, which maintains good relations with Iran, is the only one of the six Gulf Arab states that has not joined the coalition air war in its western neighbour.
"We discussed ways to send humanitarian aid, establish a ceasefire and start dialogues between the Yemeni groups," Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told Iranian state television from Muscat.
"We are concerned about the continuing air raids against the population in Yemen and irreversible damage to this country," he added.
"Iran and Oman want peace, security and stability in the region and have the same position on these issues."
Iran has repeatedly denied providing support to the Shiite rebels and their allies as they overran much of Yemen earlier this year.
It has called for an end to the bombing campaign that the Saudi-led coalition launched in support of exiled president Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi on March 26 and the opening of a political dialogue.
Oman has served as an avenue for Iranian diplomacy in the past. It hosted secret talks between Tehran and Washington before the official relaunch of negotiations with the major powers on Iran's nuclear programme in September 2013.
During his visit, Zarif also signed an agreement demarcating the two country's maritime border in the strategic entrance to the Gulf, Iran's official IRNA news agency reported.
From Oman, Zarif was to travel on to Kuwait for a ministerial meeting of the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.