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President Mahmud Ahmadinejad (file photo) (epa)
March 2, 2007 -- An Iranian diplomat has confirmed reports that Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad will travel to Saudi Arabia on March 3 for talks on regional issues and bilateral ties.
Iran's ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Mohammad Hosseini, is quoted by Iran's official news agency, IRNA, as saying that during the one-day official trip, Ahmadinejad will meet with King Abdullah and other Saudi officials.
The two-day visit comes at a time of political crisis in Lebanon, continued sectarian violence in Iraq and also increased international pressure on Iran over its nuclear program.
The Saudi-Iranian meeting also comes against a backdrop of reports suggesting that Sunni-led governments -- including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan -- are eager to forestall purported efforts by Iran's Shi'ite government to increase its influence in the region.
Saudi Arabia will host a summit of the Arab League in late March.