Saudi Arabia, Iran reach agreement on joint plan

Associated Press
Saudi Arabia, Iran reach agreement on joint plan

Hossein AmirabdollahianVahid Salemi

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Friday, 7th April 2023
Page No. 15
Chennai Print Edition

Iran and Saudi Arabia have agreed to jointly pursue economic stability, the Iranian Foreign Minister said on Thursday, as well as reopen missions in their respective countries as the regional rivals stepped toward reconciliation after seven years of tension.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian made the announcement in a tweet after talks with his Saudi counterpart, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, in Beijing. The ministers also agreed on Thursday to reopen embassies in the countries’ respective capitals and representative offices in two other major cities.

The rapprochement not only lowers the chance of armed conflict between the Mid-East rivals – both directly and in proxy conflicts around the region – but also represents a major diplomatic victory for the Chinese as Gulf Arab states perceive the United States slowly withdrawing from the wider region.

It comes as diplomats have been trying to end a long war in Yemen, a conflict in which both Iran and Saudi Arabia are deeply entrenched.

Improving ties

Mr. Amirabdollahian’s tweet came after Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said foreign ministers from both nations had signed a joint statement and expressed their determination to improve ties in line with their talks in Beijing last month.

On Thursday morning, Saudi Arabia’s state-run Al-Ekhbariya TV showed the Iranian and Saudi ministers shaking hands and sitting side-by-side.

It was the first formal meeting of senior diplomats from the two nations since 2016, when the kingdom broke ties with Iran after protesters invaded Saudi diplomatic posts there.

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