| GEO World|
| Iran FM on surprise visit to Saudi Arabia|
| Updated at: 2255 PST, Sunday, March 15, 2009|
RIYADH: Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki arrived in the Saudi capital Riyadh on Sunday on an unannounced visit, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.
It gave no immediate agenda for the visit but Iran's official news agency reported that Mottaki is scheduled to meet Saudi King Abdullah.
The visit came less than a fortnight after Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal called for a joint Arab strategy to deal with what he called the "Iranian challenge."
"In order to cement Arab reconciliation we need a common vision for issues that concern Arab security and deal with the Iranian challenge," Prince Saud told a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo on March 3.
It was Prince Saud who welcomed Mottaki at the airport.
The relationship between the Sunni-ruled Gulf states led by Saudi Arabia, and Shiite Iran has long been strained amid concern about Tehran's nuclear programme.
At the UN General Assembly last year, Prince Saud urged Iran to comply with its nuclear obligations to spare the Middle East "devastating conflicts, futile arms races and serious environmental hazards."
The West fears Iran is secretly trying to build an atomic bomb but Tehran insists its nuclear drive is entirely peaceful and aimed at generating electricity for a growing population.