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Top UAE diplomat: Iran-Saudi rapprochement to benefit entire Middle East region

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)
Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (L) and his Emirati counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan (File photo, via Fars news agency)

The foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) says his country welcomes an agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia to restore diplomatic ties, adding the deal is of great benefit to the entire Middle East region.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan made the remarks in a telephone conversation with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian late on Tuesday, after Tehran and Riyadh decided on March 10 to restore bilateral ties severed seven years ago.

Al Nahyan expressed hope that growing relations between Abu Dhabi and Damascus will result in enhancement of regional stability and security, and will serve the interests of Muslim countries in a satisfactory manner.

He extended an official invitation to Amir-Abdollahian to pay a visit to the UAE.

The Emirati foreign minister also offered his felicitations on the occasion of Nowruz or the Persian New Year, and its coincidence with the the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

For his part, the Iranian foreign minister said the recent normalization of ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia will further expand cooperation and convergence among the regional countries, voicing his satisfaction with developing relations between Syria and the UAE.

“Fortunately, bilateral relations between Tehran and Abu Dhabi are developing in political, economic, and trade spheres, and the recent constructive talks between security and economic officials from the two countries will pave the way for their further promotion,” Amir-Abdollahian said.

The Iranian foreign minister also announced Tehran's readiness to hold a joint meeting of merchants and businessmen from the two countries.

The two senior diplomats later exchanged viewpoints on common areas of interest concerning regional and international developments.

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

To restore relations, the two sides had held five rounds of negotiations in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad since April 2021.

Following the recent deal to restore bilateral ties, Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to re-open embassies and missions within two months and 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.

Kuwait hails Iran-Saudi reconciliation

Separately, the Kuwaiti foreign minister hailed reconciliation between Iran and Saudi Arabia as a good development that could benefit regional nations.

During a telephone conversation with Amir-Abdollahian, Sheikh Salem Abdullah al-Jaber al-Sabah also welcomed Iran’s initiative to facilitate consular affairs. He stressed the need for further development of bilateral relations.

Amir-Abdollahian, for his part, stated that the restoration of Iran’s diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia is proceeding normally, expressing hope that he will meet with his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud in the near future and that the two countries will soon reopen their embassies.

“Good steps have been taken in the regional arena, and are being followed up,” the Iranian foreign minister added.

He also pointed to the recent meetings between Iranian and Kuwaiti consular, coast guard, and legal officials, and voiced Tehran’s preparedness to hold a joint high commission between the two countries.

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