Tehran Pleased With Progress in Talks With Riyadh

Tehran Pleased With Progress in Talks With Riyadh
Tehran Pleased With Progress in Talks With Riyadh

A senior diplomat said Iran is pleased with how negotiations on bilateral issues have proceeded with Saudi Arabia, underscoring that the two regional powers have the potential to establish “sustainable” ties.
Speaking to IRNA on Thursday, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said Iran has held several rounds of talks with the Saudi government in the Iraqi capital Baghdad over the past few months.
“There have been good talks regarding bilateral issues,” he said. “There has also been very serious progress in negotiations concerning the security of the Persian Gulf.”
The spokesman noted that the talks have never stopped and that messages have been exchanged between the two sides at an appropriate level after the administration of Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi took office.
“We think that we can see a stable and good relationship between the two important countries in the region, namely Iran and Saudi Arabia, if the government of the Saudi Kingdom pays serious attention to a message from the Islamic Republic, which says the solution to the problems in the region lies within the region itself and we must reach a comprehensive regional mechanism.”
On Wednesday, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud expressed hope that Riyadh’s direct dialogue with Tehran would lead to confidence building.
“Iran is a neighboring country, and we hope that our initial talks with it will lead to concrete results to build confidence ... based on ... respect of sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs,” he said in a pre-recorded video address to the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Iranian and Saudi delegations have so far held three rounds of talks in Baghdad. A fourth round has been postponed to a time convenient to both sides.
Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran in January 2016 after Iranian protesters, enraged by the Saudi execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, stormed its missions in Iran. 
In the past years, the kingdom has pursued a confrontational foreign policy toward the Islamic Republic, but it has recently appeared to have changed track.

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