March 21, 2023

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Iran, Saudi Arabia agree to restore relations, reopen embassies

Iran, Saudi Arabia agree to restore relations, reopen embassies | The Hill

Two anti-riot police officers wave the Iranian flags during a street celebration after Iran defeated Wales in Qatar’s World Cup, at Sadeghieh Sq. in Tehran, Iran, Friday, Nov. 25, 2022. Iran’s political turmoil has cast a shadow over Iran’s matches at the World Cup, spurring tension between those who back the team and those who accuse players of not doing enough to support the protests that started Sept. 16 over the death of a 22-year-old woman in the custody of the morality police. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Iran and Saudi Arabia have agreed to restore diplomatic relations and reopen their embassies, following four days of previously undisclosed discussions in Beijing.

The three countries — Iran, Saudi Arabia and China — issued a joint statement on Friday that the two Middle Eastern nations had agreed “to resume diplomatic relations between them and re-open their embassies and missions within a period not exceeding two months.”

“The three countries expressed their keenness to exert all efforts towards enhancing regional and international peace and security,” they added, according to a copy of the statement tweeted out by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Saudi Arabia and Iran also “expressed their appreciation and gratitude” to China for hosting the successful talks, as well as to Iraq and Oman for hosting previous efforts.

Riyadh severed diplomatic ties with Tehran in 2016, after protesters stormed the Saudi Embassy in Iran in response to Saudi Arabia’s execution of a prominent Shiite cleric. The two Middle Eastern powers have frequently been at odds with one another, backing opposite sides in the region’s conflicts, including the long drawn-out Yemeni and Syrian civil wars.

Iran has been a close ally with China and Russia, but with Moscow locked in war with Ukraine, Tehran has been more isolated on the global stage.  

Tags China diplomatic relations Iran saudi arabia Syrian Civil War War in Yemen

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