Saudi Arabia looking forward to ‘new phase’ in ties with Iran: statement

TEHRAN – Saudi Arabia and Iran seem to be moving towards a fast all-out reconciliation as Riyadh expresses hope for a “new phase” of relations with Tehran.

The Saudi Council of Ministers issued a statement on Tuesday affirming their aspiration to improve relations based on shared interests and mutual respect.

“Saudi Arabia’s aspiration to start a new phase of relations with Iran, based on common interests and mutual respect between the two countries, and on the steps taken towards implementing the agreement to resume relations between the two countries signed last March,” said the statement.

Iran and Saudi Arabia decided to restore diplomatic relations after 7 years, under a China-brokered deal in March. Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran in 2016 after a group of Iranian protesters attacked Riyadh's embassy in Tehran in protest of the execution of a prominent Saudi Shiite cleric.

The statement comes after the Iranian foreign minister’s trip to the Arab country earlier this month.

Hossein Amir Abdollahian called the trip “a prelude to the meeting of the heads of the two countries”, pointing at the Iranian president’s future visit to Saudi Arabia. Saudi officials have also been invited to Iran but no dates have yet been specified for the potential visits.

During a joint press conference with Amir Abdollahian, the Saudi foreign minister said the visit will act as “a pivotal platform in the history of the two countries and the path of regional security.”

During his stay, the top Iranian diplomat also met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah to discuss future cooperation opportunities and developments in the regional and international arenas.

Source: Tehran Times