Saudi, Iran FMs to meet in Beijing under China-brokered cooperation deal: Report

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amirabdollahian will meet in Beijing on Thursday to discuss the next steps of their diplomatic rapprochement amid a China-brokered deal, Asharq al-Awasat newspaper cited an unidentified source in Riyadh as saying.

The meeting will mark the first formal contact between Saudi Arabia and Iran’s top envoys since 2016.

The upcoming talks come after three separate phone calls between the two foreign ministers, in which they discussed the subsequent steps needed to resume their diplomatic missions and reactivate previous agreements, according to the source.

Choosing China “came as an extension of Beijing’s positive role in reaching the agreement and facilitating communication between the two countries,” the newspaper quoted the unnamed source as saying.

In a joint statement issued on March 10, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and China announced that they would resume diplomatic relations within 60 days.

The statement emphasized the need to respect the sovereignty of the states and refrain from interfering in their internal affairs.

It also affirmed that all joint agreements between Saudi Arabia and Iran, including the security cooperation agreement, and deals on economy, trade, investment, technology, science, culture, sports, and youth would be reactivated.

Saudi Arabia cut ties with Iran in 2016 after its embassy in Tehran was stormed during a dispute between the two countries.

At the time, the Kingdom asked Iranian diplomats to leave the country within 48 hours while it evacuated its embassy staff from Tehran.

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