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Iran, Saudi Arabia move further towards reconciliation

TEHRAN (AFP) – Iran and Saudi Arabia took a further step on Saturday to seal their reconciliation as Riyadh’s top diplomat made a landmark visit to the republic following a seven-year rupture.

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan held talks with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian focussing on regional security.

He later met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, and was due to hand him an invitation “to visit the kingdom soon”.

The two countries agreed in March to mend ties and re-open their respective embassies in a deal that has shifted regional relations.

On June 6, Iran re-opened its embassy and consulate in Saudi Arabia and the kingdom is expected to re-open its diplomatic mission in Tehran “soon”, Prince Faisal said.

“I would like to point out the importance of cooperation between our two countries concerning the regional security, especially the security of maritime navigation and waterways,” Prince Faisal said at a joint news conference with Amir-Abdollahian.

The Iranian foreign minister told reporters they had discussed ways of bolstering cooperation in the fields of security, economy, tourism and transportation.

But Amir-Abdollahian stressed Iran’s view that “regional security will be ensured by regional actors only” without external interference.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian welcomes his Saudi counterpart Faisal bin Farhan in Tehran, Iran. PHOTO: AFP