Saudi Arabia’s ruler, King Salman, has invited Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to Saudi Arabia.
The invitation comes seven years after ties were severed following the arson attack on the Saudi embassy in Iran, and just a week after the two countries announced they would restore ties.
“In a letter to President Raisi … the King of Saudi Arabia welcomed the agreement between the two brothers and invited him to Riyadh,” said Mohammad Mohammed, the Iranian president’s deputy chief of staff for political affairs. Jamshidi tweeted, adding: Raishi welcomed the invitation.”
Riyadh cut ties after Iranian protesters attacked a Saudi diplomatic mission in 2016 after Saudi Arabia executed Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr.
With the deal, Iran and Saudi Arabia are expected to reopen their embassies and missions within two months and implement a security and economic cooperation agreement signed more than 20 years ago.
Saudi Arabia-Iran: Khamenei’s office led talks, agreed to stop arming Houthis, sources say
read more ”
Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdulahian told reporters on Sunday that the two countries had agreed to hold talks between their top diplomats.
He added that three locations for the meeting had been suggested, but did not specify which one.
The easing of tensions between Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, and Iran, which are sharply at odds with Western governments over their nuclear activities, are rebuilding ties across a region marked by decades of turmoil. has the potential to do so.
Iran and Saudi Arabia have backed their rivals in several conflict zones, including Yemen, where Houthi rebels are backed by Tehran, and Riyadh is leading a military coalition backing the government.
The two also vie for influence in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.
Many Gulf states have scaled back ties with Tehran following Riyadh’s actions in 2016, but the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have recently restored ties.
Iran said last week that it would welcome a return to ties with Bahrain, following a deal with Saudi Arabia.
In the past, Bahrain has accused Iran of training and supporting a Shiite-led uprising in the Sunni-dominated kingdom to overthrow the government of Manama. Tehran denies this.
In September, Iran welcomed its emirate’s ambassador to Tehran after six years of absence, and a month earlier Kuwait announced it had sent an ambassador to Tehran for the first time since 2016.
Iran’s top security official, Ali Shamkhani, met with United Arab Emirates President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi on Thursday in another sign of shifting ties in the region.