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Iran determined to boost ties with Saudi Arabia: Ambassador

Iran's new ambassador Alireza Enayati (3rd R) arrived in Riyadh last Tuesday to start his diplomatic mission.

Iran’s ambassador to Riyadh says the Islamic Republic is determined to boost its bilateral ties with Saudi Arabia, noting that a promising future is looming as the kingdom has a similar resolve.

Speaking in an interview with Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, Alireza Enayati said “I want to put emphasis on what President Ebrahim Raeisi assigned to me when I met him, which is to employ all efforts” to strengthen the friendly and brotherly relations between Tehran and Riyadh.

He noted that Iran views Saudi Arabia as a “strategic partner of great importance within the framework of its good neighborliness policy.”

Enayati further said “a promising future” is looming as the two countries are keen to expand bilateral ties.

“What has been achieved during the past six months heralds goodness and a promising future, and we have serious resolve to develop Iranian-Saudi relations,” he said, adding, “We have seen the same feeling in our [Saudi] brothers.”

That places “a huge responsibility on me to first develop and strengthen bilateral relations and then use them in benefit of the region based on common interests, reciprocal respect, and collective responsibility.”

The Iranian envoy noted that the two neighboring countries are “influential in the region and the Islamic world.”

Back in March, Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed under a Chinese-brokered deal to revive diplomatic relations severed in 2016.

Iran officially reopened its embassy in Riyadh in June, followed by its consulate in Jeddah and its representative office with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

The Saudi embassy in Tehran and its consulate in Mashhad have also resumed operations.

Enayati arrived in Riyadh last Tuesday to start his highly-anticipated diplomatic mission. Abdullah bin Saud al-Anzi, Saudi Arabia’s new ambassador, also arrived in Tehran on the same day.

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