Iran, Saudi Arabia agree to restore ties | News


The regional rivals agreed to restore ties after talks in Beijing.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have agreed to resume ties and reopen embassies within two months, according to Iranian and Saudi state media.

The agreement came after talks in the Chinese capital Beijing.

“As a result of the talks, Iran and Saudi Arabia have agreed to resume diplomatic relations and reopen the embassies within two months,” Iran’s IRNA news agency reported on Friday.

Nour News, which is affiliated with Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, released pictures and videos it described as being taken at the meeting in China. It showed Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of the council, with a Saudi official and a Chinese official, dubbed Wang Yi by state television.

“After the implementation of the decision, the foreign ministers of both nations will meet to prepare the exchange of ambassadors,” Iranian state television said.

A statement by the Saudi Press Agency confirmed the agreement, saying the two countries had agreed to respect state sovereignty and not to interfere in each other’s internal affairs.

The statement also said the two countries had agreed to activate a security cooperation agreement signed in 2001.

Tensions between the regional rivals have long run high.

Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran in 2016 after protesters there invaded Saudi diplomatic posts.

Days earlier, Saudi Arabia had executed a prominent Shiite cleric, triggering the demonstrations.

But more recently, there have been efforts on both sides to strengthen ties.

“In recent years there have been meetings between Saudi and Iranian officials in Baghdad,” Al Jazeera’s Ali Hashem said. “The Iraqis started mediation talks as early as 2021. It all stopped during the 2021 Iraqi elections.”

“After five rounds of talks, there was no news. Security level meetings were also held in Oman. These mainly focused on the situation in Yemen.”

Iran and Saudi Arabia are on rival sides in a number of regional affairs in countries as different as Lebanon, Syria and Yemen.

Improved relations between Tehran and Riyadh could therefore have implications for politics across the Middle East.

“The security situation in the region, like Yemen and Lebanon, deteriorates and suffers when these two countries have differences,” Hashem said. “With this deal it is possible that we will see compromises in these countries. This agreement can lead to the creation of a better security situation in the region. They have a lot of influence in these countries.”



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