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Iranian Delegation Arrives in Saudi Arabia to Normalise Relations After Seven-Year Split

On Wednesday, an Iranian delegation arrived in Saudi Arabia to reopen diplomatic missions in preparation for normalising relations between the two Gulf rivals.

This move follows a recent visit by a Saudi delegation to Tehran and a historic meeting between the foreign ministers of both governments in China, where they pledged to bring stability to the region.

Iran’s official IRNA news agency

According to Iran’s official IRNA news agency, the Iranian embassy and consulate will be reopened in accordance with the recent agreement between the two countries.

One team will travel to Jeddah to prepare for the reopening of Iran’s consulate and its representation in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. At the same time, the other will remain in Riyadh to reopen the embassy.

Tehran had also announced that Saudi Arabia had invited Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi for a visit, which would be the first of its kind since 1999 when Mohammad Khatami went.

The flurry of diplomatic activity follows last month’s landmark announcement brokered by China that Iran and Saudi Arabia, who have supported opposing sides in Middle Eastern conflicts, would work towards resuming ties.

In 2016, Riyadh ended its relations with Iran after Iranian protesters attacked Saudi diplomatic missions in response to the execution of Saudi Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr, one of several incidents between the two longtime adversaries.

Since the announcement on March 10th of the intention to normalize relations, the foreign ministers of both countries have met in China, and last week, a Saudi technical delegation visited Iran’s chief of protocol in Tehran, as reported by the official Saudi Press Agency.

Also Read: Riyadh Air, Saudia To Buy 78 Boeing 787s Worth $37bn

As contacts between the two countries increase, Saudi Arabia is also negotiating with Yemen’s Houthi rebels, whom it has been fighting against for eight years in a military intervention to remove them from power.

Saudi Arabia Ambassador Mohammed Al-Jaber

Saudi Ambassador Mohammed Al-Jaber traveled to Sanaa, the rebel-held capital of Yemen, this week to try to stabilize a lapsed truce and work toward a comprehensive political solution between the Houthis and the ousted government.

The conflict in Yemen is a major battleground in Riyadh’s proxy wars with Tehran, which also include conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon. Some analysts suggest that Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, wants to end the eight-year war to focus on domestic projects aimed at diversifying its energy-dependent economy.

Pavan Manzoor
Written By

Pavan Manzoor is an experienced content writer , editor and social media handler along with a track record of youth-oriented activities in Pakistan and abroad. She was selected as a fully-funded delegate as a leadership fellow in Turkey. She also led a team of 5 volunteers at the week-long Young Professionals Fellowship in Maldives. She is also a member of the Youth Standing Committee on Higher Education.


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