By AYA BATRAWY and ABDULLAH AL-SHIHRI
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s monarch expressed hope that the kingdom’s direct talks with Iran will lead to confidence building as the two bitter regional rivals take small steps toward dialogue following several years of heightened tensions. King Salman made the remarks Wednesday in a pre-recorded speech delivered to leaders gathered for the U.N. General Assembly. He said Iran is a neighbor of Saudi Arabia, and that the kingdom hopes talks between the two nations can lead to tangible results that pave the way to achieving the aspirations of the region’s people. He cautioned, though, that relations must be based on the cessation of support for sectarian militias.