Latest: Iran FM holds ‘important’ talks on first visit to Saudi Arabia in years
NBS Webdesk

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says he held “fruitful and important talks” in Riyadh Thursday, marking the first trip to the kingdom by Tehran’s top diplomat in years.

Amir-Abdollahian touched on economic and security cooperation between Iran and Saudi Arabia, saying that ties between the two countries “are progressing in the right direction”.

He is reciprocating a visit by his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan in June, part of a rapprochement process which began in March when the two nations reached an agreement to mend fences with Chinese mediation.

“Our meeting today is a continuation of steps taken towards implementing the agreement to resume diplomatic relations, which represents a pivotal platform in the history of the two countries and the path of regional security,” Prince Faisal said a joint news conference with his I on Thursday.

“Iran and Saudi Arabia are two important countries in the region of Western Asia and the Islamic world. Both sides are determined to expand our relations in all fields,” he told a joint news conference with Prince Faisal on Thursday.

“Fortunately, today’s relations between the two countries are in the right direction and progress is being made.”

Amir-Abdollahian said the two countries have a consensus on implementing existing agreements between the two countries, including in the areas of security, trade, economy and other topics of interest.

“We are in agreement to define a format and framework where the foreign ministries of the two countries will follow up relations through the formation of various technical and specialized committees.” 

The top Iranian diplomat highlighted that the Islamic Republic believes security in the region must be ensured through reliance on local capabilities, stating that Iran stretches out a hand of cooperation to neighboring countries.

“Within such a framework, we have planned promotion of solid relations with other countries like Iraq, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates apart from restoration of ties with the friendly and neighboring Saudi Arabia.

“We believe the issue of ​​regional security and development is interrelated and belongs to all actors in the region,” Amir-Abdollahian said.

The top Iranian diplomat said Tehran and Riyadh believe the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has the capacity to act as an important actor in the international community.

He emphasized that Iran is determined to continue support for Palestine, adding that there is no doubt Israel will seek to create divisions and foster enmity in the Muslim world and the region. 

The Iranian foreign minister also pointed to the desecration of the Holy Qur’an in Europe, saying Iran and Saudi Arabia, along with other Muslim countries, share positions regarding lamentable insulting of Islam’s most revered book.

He also extended Iran’s profound gratitude to Saudi Arabia for cooperation and services to Iranian pilgrims during the Hajj rituals, hoping that the Umrah Hajj pilgrimage will resume in the near future.

Riyadh hopes to welcome Raeisi following King’s invitation

For his part, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said the kingdom hopes to welcome Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi following an official invitation from King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

He added that the corresponding ambassadors will start work in the respective embassies after their reopening.

Earlier in the day, Amir-Abdollahian and his Saudi counterpart discussed the relations between Tehran and Riyadh, issues of mutual interest concerning the Muslim world, as well as regional and international developments.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (L) meets with his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on August 17, 2023.

Heading a delegation, Amir-Abdollahian has traveled to Riyadh for an official visit at the official invitation of the Saudi foreign minister.

Alireza Enayati, Iran’s new ambassador to Saudi Arabia, is accompanying the foreign minister in the trip and is scheduled to officially start his mission in the Saudi capital.

Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed in Beijing on March 10 to resume relations and reopen diplomatic missions within two months.

In a joint statement after signing the agreement, Tehran and Riyadh highlighted the need to respect the national sovereignty of one another and refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of the respective countries.

They also agreed to implement a security cooperation agreement signed in April 2001 and another accord reached in May 1998 to boost economic, commercial, investment, technical, scientific, cultural, sports, and youth affairs cooperation.

Source: Presstv

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