Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Iran top diplomat eyes restoration of Saudi Arabia ties

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian expressed hope during a visit to Lebanon Friday that diplomatic ties between Tehran and Riyadh could be restored through dialogue between the two regional arch-rivals. Amir-Abdollahian told a news conference in Beirut “we are ready to restore ties,” and such a move “would have positive repercussions on the entire region.” (https://news.yahoo.com/iran-top-diplomat-hopes-restoration-150208109.html) He also hailed a potential rapprochement between Iranian ally Syria and Turkey, after their defence ministers met last month. Amir-Abdollahian said the first steps should be resuming talks on reopening Iran’s consulate in Jeddah and Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Mashhad for citizens interested in religious travel. Iran and Saudi Arabia back opposing sides in various conflicts in the region, including in Syria. Saudi Arabia cut ties with Iran in January 2016, after protesters attacked its embassy in Tehran and consulate in second city Mashhad following Riyadh’s execution of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr.

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