Saudi foreign minister arrives in Iran, first visit since detente

AFP , Saturday 17 Jun 2023

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan arrived Saturday in Tehran, Iranian media reported, in his first visit to Iran since a landmark rapprochement following a seven-year rupture.

FILE - Saudi Arabia s Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan. AFP


During his trip, the Saudi top diplomat is expected to meet with Iranian officials including Tehran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian before a news conference, state media said.

Saudi media have also reported a planned meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi during Prince Faisal's first visit to the Islamic republic as foreign minister.

Saudi Arabia severed relations with Iran in 2016 after its embassy in Tehran and consulate in the northwestern city of Mashhad were attacked during protests over Riyadh's execution of Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr.

But the two countries agreed in March to mend ties and reopen their respective embassies, in a Chinese-brokered deal that has shifted regional relations.

Iran's government spokesman Ali Bahadori Jahromi told local media Prince Faisal was expected to "take some measures" towards reopening the Saudi diplomatic mission in Tehran during the visit.

On June 6, the Islamic Republic reopened its embassy and consulates in Saudi Arabia.

The Iranian Sazandegi daily reported on Saturday the Saudi embassy would reopen in a hotel in Tehran before resuming its permanent location in the Iranian capital.

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