Iranian president to visit Saudi Arabia

Daily News Egypt
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Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to visit Saudi Arabia

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has accepted an invitation from King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia for a visit to the Saudi capital of Riyadh, Iran’s first vice president Mohammad Mokhber confirmed Monday.

Mokhber made the remarks when asked to respond to the Saudi King’s invitation to Raisi of visiting Riyadh, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

The move followed the China-brokered talks in Beijing in early March, during which Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed to resume diplomatic relations and reopen embassies and missions within two months.

On March 19, Mohammad Jamshidi, the Iranian president’s deputy chief of staff for political affairs, tweeted that the Saudi king had written the Iranian president an invitation letter to visit Riyadh.

Commenting on Iran’s ties with Saudi Arabia and other Arab states in the region, Mokhber said the improvement of relations with regional countries has been among the major strategies pursued by the Raisi administration since the president took office.

Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Iran in early 2016 in response to the attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran after the kingdom executed a Shiite cleric.

Saudi-Iranian deal reactions

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has welcomed the resumption of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

In a statement, the president said that Egypt “appreciates this important step, and welcomes the direction taken by Saudi Arabia in this regard, in order to end regional tension.”

This step “is based on the principles and purposes of the UN Charter in terms of respect for the sovereignty of states, non-interference in their internal affairs, consolidating the concepts of good neighbourliness and enhancing security and stability in the region,” the Egyptian Presidency statement read.

The Saudi-Iranian step was welcomed by several regional and international countries including the US, as the White House said that the US welcomes any steps that could mediate the situation in Yemen and lighten tensions in the Middle East. 

Iraq, Qatar, Oman, Algeria, Jordan, and Palestine’s Hamas movement welcomed the step, expressing hope for a new phase of peace in the region. Israel was the only regional side that expressed concerns over the Saudi-Iranian rapprochement. 

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