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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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    Saudi Foreign Minister visits Iran as relations warm.

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    Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan arrived in Tehran on Saturday for his first visit to the Iranian capital since 2016, amid thaw between the two regional adversaries.

    Following delegation-level meetings, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told a press conference that Tehran and Riyadh agreed to form cooperative political, economic, and border committees to pursue common interests.

    The two sides also agreed to combat drug trafficking and improve environmental cooperation, he said, adding that the committees will begin work once the higher authorities grant their consent.

    According to Amir-Abdollahian, the two top diplomats also stressed that regional security “will only be ensured by regional actors” in both the military and economic arenas.

    Following the storming of its diplomatic missions in 2016, Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran.

    However, after two years of negotiations mediated by Iraq and Oman, the two enemies agreed to reestablish ties in March. The Chinese government hosted the historic negotiations in Beijing.

    Prior to Saturday’s meeting, the two foreign ministers met twice in neutral locations since their March rapprochement. The first meeting took place in April in Beijing, followed by another in May on the fringes of the BRICS meeting in South Africa.

    Iran reopened its embassy in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, as well as its consulate and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation mission in the port city of Jeddah, earlier this month.

    It happened just a few weeks after Alireza Enayati, a prominent diplomat and former ambassador to Kuwait, was named Iran’s new envoy to Saudi Arabia.

    Amir-Abdollahian expressed gratitude to the Saudi government for its “assistance in the reopening of the embassy in Riyadh and the consulate in Jeddah.”

    He expressed satisfaction that the two top diplomats were able to meet in Tehran within 100 days of reaching an agreement in Beijing.

    Bin Farhan, for his part, said today’s talks in Tehran were “positive and clear,” and that his visit was intended to “complete the agreement” on the reopening of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

    He expressed confidence that normalising relations between the two nations would “have a positive effect on the region and the Islamic world,” while emphasising the necessity of cooperation between Tehran and Riyadh in regional security, particularly maritime security.

    He went on to say that the two Persian Gulf neighbours’ relations are founded on “mutual respect and non-interference in the internal affairs of the two countries.”

    Bin Farhan also stated that he will meet with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to “convey greetings” from Saudi King Salman and extend an invitation to the Arab kingdom.

    He also stated that the Saudi Embassy in Tehran will reopen soon, but did not say when.

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