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Saudi king invites Iran’s president to visit Riyadh after reconciliation deal

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A handout file picture provided by the Saudi Royal Palace on February 21, 2017 shows Saudi King Salman. (Photo by AFP)

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has invited Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi to visit the kingdom, following the recent China-brokered rapprochement deal between the two countries.

Mohammad Jamshidi, the Iranian president's deputy chief of staff for political affairs, made the announcement in a post on his Twitter account on Sunday, saying the Saudi king has extended the invitation in a letter.

"In a letter to President Raeisi, the king of Saudi Arabia welcomed the deal between the two brotherly countries, (and) invited him to Riyadh," he said, adding that the Saudi king has called for establishing economic and regional cooperation between the two countries.

The senior Iranian official said Raeisi has welcomed the invitation.

The latest invitation is seen as a significant step towards improving ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

After several days of intensive negotiations hosted by China, Iran and Saudi Arabia finally clinched a deal on March 10 to restore diplomatic relations and re-open embassies and missions within two months.

According to a joint statement, Iran and Saudi Arabia underscored the need to respect the national sovereignty and refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of one another.

They agreed to implement a security cooperation agreement signed in April 2001 and another accord reached in May 1998 to boost economic, commercial, investment, technical, scientific, cultural, sports, and youth affairs cooperation.

Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran in January 2016 after Iranian protesters, enraged by the execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr by the Saudi government, stormed its embassy in Tehran.

The two sides had held five rounds of negotiations in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad since April 2021.

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