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Following a reconciliation, Iran dispatches a delegation as Saudis visit Tehran


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On Sunday, Iranian media reported that an Iranian technical delegation will visit Saudi Arabia this week to prepare for the reopening of Iran’s embassy in Riyadh, amid improved relations between the two regional powers.

The development, reported by the semi-official ISNA news agency, comes days after the foreign ministers of Iran and Saudi Arabia met in Beijing for their first official meeting of their top diplomats in more than seven years after China brokered a deal to restore relations between the two countries. The two rivals.

The agency stated that “the Iranian technical delegation will visit Tehran’s embassy in Riyadh and make arrangements to reopen the Iranian embassy in Saudi Arabia.”

On Saturday, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that officials had visited Iran to discuss procedures for reopening Riyadh’s diplomatic missions in the Islamic Republic.

“The Saudi delegation visited the Saudi embassy in Tehran this morning,” the agency added.

The Riyadh Foreign Ministry said that the delegation had arrived in Iran to discuss reopening its missions after an absence of seven years.

The official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported that the ministry described the visit as part of the “implementation of the tripartite agreement” reached on March 10 to restore relations severed in 2016.

And the Saudi Press Agency stated that a Saudi “technical delegation” met, on Saturday, the head of the Iranian protocol, Mehdi Honardost, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tehran.

The two old foes in the Middle East have now pledged to work together.

When Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amirabadullahian, met in Beijing on Thursday, they pledged to bring security and stability to the volatile Gulf region.

“The two sides stressed the importance of following up and activating the implementation of the Beijing Agreement in a way that expands mutual trust and areas of cooperation and helps achieve security, stability and prosperity in the region,” said a joint statement.

Unannounced visit

Meanwhile, CIA Director Bill Burns made an unannounced visit to Saudi Arabia last week, expressing frustration with the recent rapprochement between Riyadh and Iran, according to a report.

Burns told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that the United States was “shocked” by Riyadh’s rapprochement with Iran, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing informed sources.

It quoted a US official as saying that Burns discussed intelligence and counterterrorism cooperation with Saudi officials.

troubled region

The sudden rapprochement between majority-Sunni Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, and Shiite-majority Iran, which is deeply at odds with Western governments over its nuclear activities, has the potential to reshape relationships across a region that have been in turmoil for decades.

Under last month’s agreement, the two countries will reopen their embassies and missions within two months and implement security and economic cooperation agreements signed more than 20 years ago.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has also received an invitation from Saudi King Salman to Riyadh, a trip that is scheduled to take place after the holy month of Ramadan, which ends later in April.

The expert on Middle East affairs at the Cairo Center for Strategic Studies, Rabeh Seif Allam, pointed to the “acceleration” of the normalization of relations.

She said that this means intensifying meetings “at the economic and security levels,” and she believes that normalization will conclude with Raisi’s visit to Riyadh at the end of next April.

The United States has for decades been the main diplomatic power in the Middle East and has an alliance, if often tense, with Saudi Arabia.

Washington cautiously welcomed the rapprochement between the Saudis and Iran, a rival of the United States, despite the role of China, which it considers its biggest global competitor.

Iran and Saudi Arabia compete for influence in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.

They also support rival sides in several conflict zones across the region, including in Yemen, where the Houthis back Tehran and Riyadh leads a military coalition that supports the government.

A source at the airport said that Omani mediators arrived, in a separate development, on Saturday, in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, to discuss a new truce between the Houthis, who are backed by Iran and Saudi Arabia.

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