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Iran, Saudi Arabia plan new round of talks

Iran, Saudi Arabia plan new round of talks

Iran and Saudi Arabia have shown signs of warming relations while the Iranian ambassador in Baghdad said the countries plan to hold the fourth round of talks.

A constructive dialogue between Iran and Saudi Arabia is available, said the diplomats. The announcement of plans for new talks, carried by the semi-official news agency ISNA, came days after a regional summit held in Baghdad to help ease tensions among Iraq’s neighbours.

“We have had three rounds of negotiations with the Saudi side, and the fourth round is to be held after the formation of a new Iranian government,” said Iraj Masjedi, Iran’s envoy to Iraq.

Over the decades, Iran and Saudi Arabia, leading Shia and Sunni Muslim powers in the Middle East, have been rivals. Both nations were backing allies fighting proxy wars in Yemen, Syria, and elsewhere. In fact, the most recent diplomatic crisis took place in 2016 when the countries have cut diplomatic ties.

In May, Iran confirmed publicly for the first time that it was in talks with Saudi Arabia, saying it would do what it could to resolve issues between them. Since then, it has elected a new president, hardliner Ebrahim Raisi, who was sworn in on 5 August.

Meantime, Iran’s parliament last Wednesday approved all but one of the nominees for a cabinet presented by Raisi, Reuters reports.