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Collaboration between Iran and Saudi Arabia is necessary to defeat the so-called Islamic State militant group operating in the Middle East, former EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana told Sputnik on Friday.

“The objective has to be to have a conversation between the Saudis and the Iranians, but this is not working… because we do not put enough pressure on both sides to do it,” Solana said when asked about the role of the two regional powers in the fight against IS.

Solana noted that Iran is now “much more open” to talks than Saudi Arabia.

“Without the commitment of the Arabs, it is very difficult to resolve this problem,” he said.