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The two regional rivals agreed to restore relations after talks in Beijing.
Iran and Saudi Arabia have agreed to restore relations and reopen the embassies within two months, according to Iranian and Saudi state media.
The agreement came after talks that took place in the Chinese capital, Beijing.
On Friday, the Iranian News Agency reported that “as a result of the talks, Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to resume diplomatic relations and reopen the two embassies… within two months.”
Noor News, which is linked to Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, published photos and videos that it described as being taken in China with the meeting. It showed Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of the council, with a Saudi official and a Chinese official who was named Wang Yi by state television.
“After implementing the decision, the foreign ministers of the two countries will meet to prepare for the exchange of ambassadors,” Iranian state television said.
The Saudi Press Agency confirmed the agreement when it also published the joint statement of Saudi Arabia and Iran, in which it was stated that the two countries agreed to respect the sovereignty of the state and not to interfere in each other’s internal affairs.
The statement also mentioned that Riyadh and Tehran agreed to activate the security cooperation agreement signed in 2001.
Tensions have always been high between the regional rivals.
Saudi Arabia cut ties with Iran in 2016 after protesters overran Saudi diplomatic posts there.
Saudi Arabia had executed a prominent Shiite cleric days earlier, sparking demonstrations.
But there have been more recent efforts on both sides to cement ties.
“In the past two years, there have been meetings between Saudi and Iranian officials in Baghdad,” Al Jazeera correspondent Ali Hashem said. “The Iraqis started mediation talks in 2021. Everything stalled during the 2021 Iraqi elections.”
There was no news after five rounds of talks. Security level meetings were also held in Amman. It focused mainly on the situation in Yemen.
Iran and Saudi Arabia are on opposite sides of a dispute on a number of regional issues, in countries as diverse as Lebanon, Syria and Yemen.
Thus, improving relations between Tehran and Riyadh could have an impact on politics across the Middle East.
“The security situation in the region, as is the case in Yemen and Lebanon, deteriorates and suffers when there are disagreements between the two countries,” Hashem said. With this deal, it is possible that we may start to see compromises in these countries. This deal could lead to the creation of a better security situation in the region. They have a lot of influence in these countries.”
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