Saudi Arabia, Iran agree to re-establish diplomatic relations: Statement

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Saudi Arabia and Iran have agreed to re-establish diplomatic ties, reopen embassies and exchange ambassadors within a period of two months, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Friday.

The decision to re-establish relations, which were severed in 2016, came following talks that took place from March 6 through March 10 in Beijing, SPA reported citing a trilateral statement issued by the Kingdom, Iran and China.

Saudi Arabia and Iran agree to re-establish ties following talks in China. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia and Iran agree to re-establish ties following talks in China. (SPA)

“Saudi Arabia and Iran agree to respect state sovereignty and not interfere in internal matters,” the statement said, adding that the two countries’ foreign ministers will meet soon to arrange for the exchange of envoys and discuss means to enhance ties.

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Riyadh and Tehran also agreed to activate the security cooperation agreement signed in 2001 and the trade, economy and investment agreement signed in 1998.

According to the statement, China’s President Xi Jinping had made an initiative to host and sponsor talks between delegates from Iran and Saudi Arabia to resolve disputes via dialogue and diplomacy.

The Saudi delegation was headed by Minister of State and National Security Adviser Musaed bin Mohammed al-Aiban, while the Iranian delegation was headed by Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council.

During the talks, China was represented by Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Wang Yi.

Saudi Arabia and Iran thanked China for hosting and sponsoring the recent talks and for the efforts exerted to help them succeed. They also thanked Iraq and Oman for hosting dialogue sessions between the two countries’ representatives in 2021 and 2022.

“Saudi Arabia, Iran and China are keen on making all [necessary] efforts to strengthen regional and international peace and security.”

During the last round of talks before signing the agreement, al-Aiban said that Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcomed Xi’s initiative based on the Kingdom’s adherence to the principles of good neighborliness and to the principle of resorting to dialogue and diplomacy to resolve conflicts.

“King Salman and the Crown Prince thank President Xi Jinping for the kind initiative… [that aims] to develop good neighborly relations between the Kingdom and Iran,” al-Aiban said according to SPA.

“The agreement today [is the fruit] of the in-depth talks supported by the leadership of all three countries,” he said, adding that discussions addressed the “causes of disputes and means to solve them.”

“Respecting state sovereignty and not interfering in internal matters is an essential pillar to develop relations between countries and strengthen security and stability in our region,” he added.

Meanwhile, Wang said that the successful talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia in Beijing are a victory for dialogue and peace, Reuters reported.

“This is a victory for dialogue, a victory for peace, offering major good news at a time of much turbulence in the world,” the Chinese foreign ministry cited Wang as saying at the close of the dialogue.

“As a good-faith and reliable mediator, China has faithfully fulfilled its duties as the host,” Wang said.

China will continue to play a constructive role in handling hotspot issues in the world and demonstrate its responsibility as a major nation, he added.

Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran after two of its diplomatic posts were attacked in Tehran and Mashhad in 2016.

Flames rise from Saudi Arabia’s embassy during a demonstration in Tehran on January 2, 2016. (Reuters)
Flames rise from Saudi Arabia’s embassy during a demonstration in Tehran on January 2, 2016. (Reuters)

Demonstrators stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran in protest of Riyadh’s executions of 47 people convicted of terrorism, which include Shia preacher Nimr al-Nimr and al-Qaeda ideologue Fares al-Shuwail.

With Reuters

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