According to media reports, a Saudi Arabian diplomatic delegation has met with Iran’s chief of protocol at the foreign ministry in Tehran. The visit is part of the implementation of a tripartite agreement reached on March 10 between the two regional powers, brokered by China, to restore relations that were ruptured in 2016. The Saudi foreign ministry said that the visit is aimed at discussing the reopening of its diplomatic missions after a seven-year absence. The two countries severed ties in 2016 after protesters in Iran attacked Saudi diplomatic missions following Riyadh’s execution of a prominent Shia leader.
The rapprochement between mainly Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, and Shiite-majority Iran, which is strongly at odds with Western governments over its nuclear activities, has the potential to reshape relations across a region characterised by turbulence for decades. Under last month’s agreement, the two countries are to reopen their embassies and missions within two months and implement security and economic cooperation deals signed more than 20 years ago.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has been invited by Saudi King Salman to Riyadh, a trip planned to take place after the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. This visit is expected to further strengthen the ties between the two countries.
Iran and Saudi Arabia have been vying for influence in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. They also support rival sides in several conflict zones across the region, including in Yemen, where Houthi rebels are aligned with Tehran and Riyadh leads a military coalition supporting the government.
In a separate development on Saturday, mediators from Oman arrived in the Yemeni capital Sanaa to discuss a new truce between the Houthi rebels and Saudi Arabia, the AFP news agency reported, citing an airport source. Diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict have gained momentum since the Chinese-brokered Saudi-Iran deal to restore relations.
The reopening of diplomatic missions between Iran and Saudi Arabia is a significant step towards stability in the region. The two countries have been at loggerheads for years, and their rivalry has fuelled conflicts across the Middle East. The restoration of diplomatic ties could help to reduce tensions and promote cooperation between the two nations.
The visit by the Saudi delegation to Tehran is a positive sign that both countries are committed to resolving their differences and working towards a more peaceful future. The reopening of embassies and missions will allow for greater communication and cooperation between the two governments, which could lead to more significant progress in resolving conflicts in the region.
The invitation extended by King Salman to President Raisi is another positive development that could help to further strengthen ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The visit will provide an opportunity for both leaders to discuss issues of mutual concern and explore ways to deepen cooperation between their countries.
The conflict in Yemen has been one of the most significant sources of tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia in recent years. The Houthi rebels, who are aligned with Tehran, have been fighting against the Saudi-led coalition supporting the government. The arrival of mediators from Oman in Sanaa is a positive development that could help to bring an end to the conflict.
Overall, the restoration of diplomatic ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia is a significant step towards stability in the Middle East. The two countries have been at odds for years, and their rivalry has fuelled conflicts across the region. The reopening of embassies and missions and the invitation extended by King Salman to President Raisi are positive signs that both countries are committed to resolving their differences and working towards a more peaceful future.