Iranian pilgrims will participate Haj rituals in 2017: Saudi Govt

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani urged Muslims past year to "punish the government of Saudi Arabia in order to have a real Hajj".

The Saudis also hailed a "historical turning point" in US-Saudi relations after the two leaders expressed shared views that Iran poses a regional security threat in the region.

The visit reflects the Kingdom's endeavors to cement Islamic solidarity and encourage the ranks of united Muslims to allow them to enjoy their true position among the world countries thanks to their enormous potentials and resources, he said.

On March 16, Prince Mohammed met with Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis at the Pentagon to review progress in the bilateral defense relationship, including the two nations' efforts to confront the most pressing security challenges to the region, such as Iran's destabilizing regional activities and the ongoing campaign to defeat Daesh (ISIS) and other terrorist organizations.

Iran said about 4,700 people, including over 465 of its nationals, lost their lives in the incident.

Egypt has received its first two oil shipments from Saudi giant Aramco after deliveries were suspended for several months over political differences, an oil ministry spokesman said on Sunday (Mar 19).

On a travel ban against six Muslim-majority countries, the adviser said Prince Mohammed did not regard it as one that was aimed at "Muslim countries or Islam".

The meeting between Mr Trump and Prince bin Salman was one of a host of high-level meetings between officials from both countries and the White House is showing signs that Saudi Arabia may be taking an influential role in shaping its policies in the Middle East.

US officials said Trump was considering ending that ban and approving the sale of guidance systems made by Raytheon Co.

Gregory Gause, a Gulf expert at Texas A&M University, said that while Saudi Arabia might find the "atmospherics" of its relations with Trump better than those with Obama, it might find less change than it hopes on key issues.

"I think they're going to find rhetorically that the new administration says things and uses language they like more", said Gause.

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