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Iran, Maldives resume diplomatic ties in alignment with interests

Iran and the Maldives have resumed their diplomatic relations in alignment with the two countries' interests and aspirations of their peoples.

In a statement on Saturday, Iran's Foreign Ministry said the restoration of mutual ties comes following a meeting between Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and his Maldivian counterpart Ahmed Khaleel on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York on Friday.

According to the statement, Iran and the Maldives "agreed to further develop the friendly relations between the two countries on the basis of mutual respect for sovereignty, equality, mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence."

Both countries are resolute on strengthening cooperation on a wide range of areas such as investment, trade, seamless of travel and people-to-people contact, science, and technological innovation, it added.

Tehran and Male decided to restore relations after Iran and Saudi Arabia signed a China-brokered agreement in March to resume ties after a seven-year hiatus.

Riyadh closed its diplomatic missions in Tehran in 2016 after they were ransacked by protesters enraged by the Saudi execution of top Shia cleric Nimr Baqir al-Nimr.

Later in May 2016, the Maldives, a staunch supporter of Saudi Arabia, decided to sever ties with Iran, claiming that Tehran’s policies was detrimental to regional peace and security.

In a statement published by the Government of Maldives on March 10, the country welcomed the joint trilateral statement by Saudi Arabia, Iran and China announcing the resumption of diplomatic relations between Tehran and Riyadh and the reopening of their embassies and missions.

"In light of these positive and welcoming developments the Government of Maldives has decided to resume diplomatic ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran," it added.

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