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Iran, Saudi foreign ministers, in phone call, discuss détente

Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (R) and his Saudi counterpart Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud

Iran and Saudi Arabian foreign ministers hold a telephone conversation, discussing the ongoing normalization of relations between the countries, which were kick-started under a Chinese-brokered deal earlier this month.

The conversation took place early Thursday between Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and his Saudi counterpart Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud.

Saudi Arabia severed its diplomatic relations with Iran in 2016 following angry protests outside its embassy in Tehran over Riyadh's execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr. The rapprochement agreement was struck after several days of intensive negotiations between Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani and his Saudi counterpart in the Chinese capital and was officially announced in a joint statement by Iran, Saudi Arabia, and China.

Amir-Abdollahian welcomed the developing return of the countries' relations back to normal and expressed the Islamic Republic's readiness to expand and reinforce its ties with the Saudi kingdom.

Pointing to the positive achievements of the Beijing meeting, the Saudi official laid emphasis on the need for the ministers to meet in the near future and the importance of re-inauguration of the countries' respective embassies and consulates general.

The officials, therefore, agreed to meet at the earliest opportunity and lay the groundwork for the reopening of the diplomatic missions.

During the phone call, the two top diplomats also exchanged felicitations over the pending commencement of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

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