Saudi King Invites President of Iran To Riyadh Days After China Brokered Diplomatic Deal

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 03/21/2023
According to Ebrahim Raisi's deputy chief of staff, Saudi Arabia's King Salman has invited Raisi to a meeting in Riyadh. A meeting between the foreign ministers of the two nations is also being planned in the wake of an agreement brokered by China that ended a seven-year diplomatic gap.

In a letter to Raisi, Salman extended the invitation, according to a tweet from the deputy chief of staff on Sunday. The president of Iran "welcomed this request and reaffirmed Iran's readiness to enhance cooperation," Jamshidi continued.

Jamshidi said King Salman alluded to Saudi Arabia and Iran as "brotherly countries" in his letter in a later English-language tweet.

In 2016, following Riyadh's killing of a Shia scholar, Iranian demonstrators stormed Saudi consulates, causing relations between the Sunni monarchy and the Shia republic to deteriorate. Since then, they have supported rival factions in the civil wars in Yemen and Syria, while Iran supports the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia stands with Israel in opposition to this movement, which it views as a terrorist organization.

But, in a historic agreement mediated by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Saudi Arabia and Iran said last week that they will reestablish diplomatic relations and pledge to "non-interfere" in one another's internal affairs.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said Tehran's state media on Sunday that since the announcement of the Chinese-brokered agreement, preparations for the reopening of the embassies in Riyadh and Tehran have been ongoing. Without giving any other information, Amirabdollahian stated that he will meet with his Saudi colleague, Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, soon.

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