Iranian parliamentary speaker begins two-day visit to Bahrain

Iranian parliamentary speaker begins two-day visit to Bahrain Manama, Bahrain - The speaker of the Iranian parliament, Ali Larijani, arrived in Bahrain Tuesday to start a three-day tour of Gulf nations.

Larijani's arrival coincided with the start of a two-day meeting in Manama between the United States and Persian Gulf nations focused on maritime security. That is a continuous issue because of previous threats by Tehran to shut down the vital Strait of Hormuz if Iran should ever come under attack from the United States or Israel.

The meeting will include representatives from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan and the United Kingdom.

After a meeting with Larijani, Ali bin Saleh al-Saleh, chairman of the legislature's upper house, or Shura, said he expected an increase in parliamentary cooperation between the two countries, particularly in the legislative, economic and development arenas.

"The situational developments witnessed by the region today require more cohesion and cooperation between its countries to ensure their independence and continued unity to achieve the aspirations and hopes of their people," al-Saleh said following the meeting.

Larijani is expected to meet with a number of key Bahraini officials including Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad al- Khalifa.

His visit comes shortly after Manama and Tehran to build a pipeline to carry Iranian natural gas to Bahrain, which would help to double Manama's gas supplies.

Larijani's trip will also take him to Oman. (dpa)