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Iran, Saudi Arabia Agree to Restore Diplomatic Ties

Iran and Saudi Arabia on Friday agreed to resume their diplomatic relations in China brokered deal.

The announcement came after four days of talks between officials from both countries in Beijing.

In a joint statement, Tehran and Riyadh said they have agreed to restore diplomatic ties and reopen embassies within two months.

The two sides have also agreed to hold talks between foreign ministers to arrange ambassadors’ exchange and explore ways to strengthen bilateral relations.

China: deal a “Victory for Peace”

The latest talks between Riyadh and Tehran in Beijing came months after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s separate meetings with leaders of the two countries.

In Dec 2022, Xi paid a state visit to Saudi Arabia at the invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Last month, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi paid a three-day state visit to China at the invitation of Xi.

China’s top diplomat Wang Yi hailed the decision by Iran and Saudi Arabia to resume ties as a “victory for peace.”

“This is a victory for dialogue, a victory for peace,” Wang Yi told reporters Friday.

It has also provided a piece of “significant good news” for today’s turbulent world, he added.

UN Chief: key for the Gulf region stablity

Saudi Arabia cut ties in January 2016 after protesters stormed its embassy in Tehran following Riyadh’s execution of a Shiiat Muslim cleric.

Tensions have since been high between the two neighbors that regard each other as a threatening power that seek regional dominance.

The deal struck in Beijing is now seen as key not only to bring the seven-year long tensions to an end but also regional stability.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian tweeted that restoring diplomatic ties with Riyadh will provide the two sides, the region, and the Muslim world with “great capacities.”

UN chief Antonio Guterres also welcomed the Saudi-Iranian rapprochement and thanked China for brokering the deal.

“Good neighborly relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia are essential for the stability of the Gulf region,” his spokesman said.

Agencies

Featured Image: China’s top diplomat Wang Yi (M) along with chief negotiators of the two countries – Musaad bin Mohammed Al-Aiban of Saudi Arabia (L) and Ali Shamkhani of Iran pose for a photo in Beijing onMarch 10, 2023. (Photo Chinese FM)