Tehran, Riyadh Agree to Restore Diplomatic Ties

Tehran, Riyadh Agree to Restore Diplomatic Ties
Tehran, Riyadh Agree to Restore Diplomatic Ties

Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to restore their diplomatic ties after several days of intensive negotiations between the two countries’ top national security officials in the Chinese capital Beijing this week. 
The China-brokered agreement was publicized in a ceremony on Friday where a joint statement was signed by Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani, Saudi National Security Adviser and Minister of State Musaid bin Mohammad Al Aiban, and China’s top diplomat Wang Yi, Nour News reported. 
Based on the statement, the two countries agreed to resume their diplomatic relations and reopen their embassies and missions within a maximum timeframe of two months. 
Iranian and Saudi foreign ministers will meet for the implementation of this decision and arrangements for the exchange of ambassadors, according to the document. 
Tehran and Riyadh severed diplomatic ties in 2016 after a group of Iranians stormed the Saudi embassy following the kingdom’s execution of a prominent Shia cleric. 
Both sides later showed signs of interest in reconciliation marked by five rounds of negotiations in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, as well as mediatory efforts by the Sultanate of Oman. 
In the latest move, Iranian and Saudi delegations held several meetings over five days in Beijing at the initiative of Chinese President Xi Jinping for supporting the expansion of Tehran-Riyadh relations based on the principle of good neighborliness, the joint statement explained. 
The talks were also held as a result of Iran and Saudi Arabia’s willingness to resolve differences through dialogue and diplomacy based on fraternal ties and both sides’ adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Charter and international rules and procedures, it added.
Renewing vows to respect each other’s sovereignty and avoid interfering in one another’s domestic affairs, Tehran and Riyadh also agreed to implement the security cooperation deal signed in April 2001, as well as another accord reached in May 1998 to boost economic, commercial, investment, technical, scientific, cultural, sports and youth affairs cooperation.
In the joint statement, the two neighbors also thanked Iraq, Oman and China for hosting and supporting their talks. 
“The three countries express their firm determination to make every effort to promote regional and international peace and security,” the statement read. 



Constructive Talks 

Shamkhani was in the Chinese capital since Monday to conclude efforts to resolve Tehran-Riyadh differences in talks with his Saudi counterpart.
The negotiations were held following agreements between Iranian and Chinese presidents on the issue during an earlier visit by President Ebrahim Raisi to Beijing last month.
Speaking after the signing of the statement, Shamkhani said the presidential talks paved the way for the start of a new round of talks between Iranian and Saudi delegations. 
He described his negotiations as “clear, direct, comprehensive and constructive.” 
“Clearing misunderstandings and looking to the future in Tehran-Riyadh relations will certainly result in the promotion of regional stability and security, and a boost in cooperation among countries in the Persian Gulf region and the Muslim world to manage the existing challenges,” he said. 
Shamkhani thanked Iraq and Oman for hosting earlier rounds of talks, highlighting their significant contribution to the conclusion of the recent agreement. 
He later expressed his appreciation for Baghdad’s valuable efforts in a phone conversation with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammad al-Sudani. 

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