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Oman top diplomat visits Iran after US trip

By AFP

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Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (left) meets with Oman's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah (right) in Tehran on December 2nd. [STR/AFP]

Iran's top diplomat Mohammad Javad Zarif voiced support on Monday (December 2nd) for reducing tensions in the Gulf as he hosted his counterpart from traditional mediator Oman for talks in Tehran.

The visit by Oman's minister of state for foreign affairs, Yusuf bin Alawi, came a week after he held a meeting in Washington with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

It is the second time since late July that bin Alawi has been sent to Iran by the sultanate, a past mediator between foes in the Middle East.

The Iranian foreign ministry said Zarif, in talks with bin Alawi, had "emphasised the necessity of reducing tensions in the region".

Zarif said Iran was serious about a plan -- dubbed the Hormuz Peace Endeavour -- that it has put forward to reduce regional tensions.

President Hassan Rouhani announced the peace plan at the UN General Assembly in September, calling on Arab nations in the Gulf, including Iran's regional rival Saudi Arabia, to join it.

In a social media post, the Omani foreign ministry said that bin Alawi and Zarif had "discussed bilateral relations and regional issues".

The Omani minister's trip to Iran comes a week after he met Pompeo during an official visit to the US.

The US State Department said at the time that Pompeo thanked him for "Oman's co-operation on security and counter-terrorism issues".

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