Iran’s foreign minister to visit Saudi Arabia ‘in near future’ amid warming of ties

Iran’s foreign minister to visit Saudi Arabia ‘in near future’ amid warming of ties

Tehran and Riyadh agreed to restore diplomatic ties in March after years of tension

By Syed Zafar Mehdi

TEHRAN (AA) - Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian will be visiting Saudi Arabia “in the near future” on the invitation of his Saudi counterpart, ministry spokesperson said on Monday.

Addressing a weekly press conference in Tehran, Nasser Kanaani said Amirabdollahian was by his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan and the visit will take place soon.

He, however, did not give an exact date of the visit, which will be the first official visit by an Iranian foreign minister to the Arab country in more than seven years.

During the trip, the two sides will hold consultations and discussions on various issues, including the expansion of bilateral cooperation in the economic field, Kanaani said.

He stressed that relations between the two countries are “progressing step by step.”

The spokesperson also referred to an official invitation from Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi to visit Riyadh. He, however, said the date of the trip has not been decided yet.

Last week, Iran’s state news agency IRNA said the embassy of Saudi Arabia in Tehran has resumed its operations.

The Saudi foreign minister, during his visit to Tehran in June, had announced that the Saudi embassy in Tehran will be reopened soon.

During the visit, Prince Farhan and his Iranian counterpart Amir-abdollahian also agreed on forming joint political and economic committees to pursue common interests.

Iran and Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic ties in January 2016 after the Saudi Embassy in Tehran and consulate in Mashhad were stormed by angry mobs following the execution of a Saudi Shia cleric.

The two neighbors started negotiations to revive ties in April 2021, brokered by Iraq and Oman. After nearly two years, the breakthrough was reached courtesy China.

Iran reopened its embassy in the Saudi capital Riyadh, the consulate and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation mission in the port city of Jeddah in early June.

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