Saudi foreign minister to visit Iran on Saturday amid thaw in relations

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Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan will visit Iran on Saturday for talks with Iranian officials, Iranian media reported on Thursday.

Prince Faisal’s visit comes three months after Saudi Arabia and Iran announced a normalization deal brokered by China, which ended years of hostility and diplomatic rupture between the two countries.

The deal, which was signed by Prince Faisal and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Beijing in March, provides for the resumption of diplomatic ties, the reopening of embassies, the restoration of direct flights, and the enhancement of trade and investment cooperation.

Last week, Iran reopened its embassy in Riyadh after more than five years of closure. Saudi Arabia has yet to announce when it will reopen its embassy in Tehran or name its ambassador.

According to Iranian media, Prince Faisal will meet with President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian, and other senior officials during his visit to Tehran. He is also expected to deliver an invitation from King Salman to Raisi to visit Saudi Arabia.

The two sides are likely to discuss a range of bilateral, regional, and international issues of mutual interest and concern, such as the Yemen crisis, the nuclear talks in Vienna, the security situation in Iraq and Syria, and the cooperation within the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and other multilateral forums.

Prince Faisal’s visit is expected to further boost the strategic dialogue between Saudi Arabia and Iran and pave the way for more confidence-building measures and joint initiatives to promote peace and stability in the region. The visit will also demonstrate Saudi Arabia’s commitment to diversifying its foreign policy options and engaging constructively with its neighbors.

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