September 24, 2023

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Iran and Saudi Arabia to open up travel and normalise diplomatic ties in major breakthrough at …

Saudi Arabia and Iran have reportedly agreed to reopen diplomatic missions in their respective capitals, in a step toward reconciliation after seven years of tension.

The deal was brokered in Beijing, where the foreign ministers of both Middle Eastern nations met with their Chinese counterpart on Thursday.

As part of the deal, the two sides would also study the prospect of resuming flights and facilitating the visa process, Iran’s semiofficial news agency ISNA reported.

Longtime rivals Riyadh and Tehran announced a China-brokered agreement in March in an effort to restore relations marred with conflict.

In a joint statement released after talks between Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Thursday, the two sides vowed to continue to work together to improve ties.

“The two sides emphasised the importance of following up on the implementation of the Beijing Agreement and its activation in a way that expands mutual trust and the fields of cooperation and helps create security, stability and prosperity in the region,” said the statement.

The rapprochement comes as a major diplomatic victory for Beijing as the Arab states perceive the US as slowly withdrawing from the wider Middle East.

Beijing supports countries in the Middle East in upholding their strategic independence, getting rid of external “interference”, and keeping the region’s future in their own hands, Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang said following a meeting with his Iranian and Saudi counterparts.

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