Restoration of Tehran, Riyadh Ties to Benefit Region, Muslim World: Iran’s FM

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said the thaw in ties between the Islamic Republic and Saudi Arabia would benefit the two sides as well as the region and the Muslim world.

Amirabdollahian said on Wednesday that Tehran will soon appoint an ambassador to Riyadh, following a China-brokered agreement in March that ended a seven-year rupture in Saudi-Iranian relations.

He said the details of the reopening of the Saudi embassy in Tehran will soon be announced.

The restoration of ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia provides a “great capacity” that could serve the interests of the two countries, the region, and the Muslim world, Amirabdollahian added.

The remarks come as the foreign ministers of the two states held their first meeting in seven years in Beijing on April 6, stressing the need to implement the reconciliation agreement signed on March 10.

Speaking on Monday in his weekly press conference, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said that “good progress” has been made in the reopening of diplomatic missions.

“Based on the agreement and the practical determination, we have had good progress in the process of making diplomatic missions ready,” he said, adding that “more time” is needed because the buildings have not been used for years.

“We are in the final stages of preparing the missions,” said the diplomat, hoping that they would be officially reopened in the “shortest time” possible.

“Political relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia are practically in place,” Kanaani noted, adding that Tehran is “optimistic” about the continuation of this reconciliation based on both sides’ determination and goodwill.

Technical delegations from Tehran and Riyadh have already visited the diplomatic missions in the past weeks to make the necessary arrangement and preparations for reopening.

Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to restore their diplomatic ties and reopen their embassies after several days of intense talks hosted by China on March 10.

In a joint statement after the agreement, Tehran and Riyadh stressed the importance of respecting each others’ national sovereignty and avoiding interference in each other’s internal affairs.

They also agreed to implement a security cooperation agreement from April 2001 and another accord from May 1998 to enhance their cooperation in various fields, such as economy, trade, investment, technology, science, culture, sports, and youth affairs.

The détente can reduce tensions in a region that has been plagued by instability for decades.

Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran in January 2016 after Iranian protesters, enraged by the execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr by the Saudi government, stormed its embassy in Tehran.

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