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Saudi Arabia, Thailand reach agreement on restoration of diplomatic ties

Saudi Arabia and Thailand reached an agreement to reinstate reciprocal ambassadors in the meeting that took place during the Thai Prime Minister’s visit to Riyadh, the first of its kind after an almost thirty-years diplomatic row.

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On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia and Thailand reached an agreement to reinstate reciprocal ambassadors. The decision came in the meeting that took place within the scope of Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha’s visit to Riyadh. The meeting was recorded as the first of its kind since the two countries had severed their diplomatic relations over a jewelry robbery case that happened almost thirty years ago.

According to Saudi state media, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Premier Chan-Ocha also agreed to improve economic and trade relations. The reappointment of reciprocal ambassadors will occur “in the near future,” Saudi media noted without further information.

Upon the development, Saudi Arabian Airlines announced through a Twitter post on Tuesday that direct flights to Thailand would be restarted in May.

The prime minister’s two-day official visit came upon the invitation of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Selman, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry announced.

In 1989, Saudi Arabia severed its diplomatic relations with Thailand following a Thai janitor working in the palace of a Saudi Prince stealing jewels worth around 20 million dollars. The incident became known as the “Blue Diamond Affair.”

A considerable number of the jewels, including the rare blue diamond, are yet to be found. Three Saudi diplomats in Thailand were killed in three different murders in a single night a year after the robbery.

Prime Minister Prayuth issued a statement following the meeting with the Saudi Crown Prince, expressing “sincere regret over the tragic events in Thailand between 1989 and 1990.” He also noted that his government “is ready to raise cases to the component authorities in the event of new, relevant evidence.”

The jewelry heist was recorded as one of Thailand’s biggest unsolved mysteries. Some of Thailand’s high-level police officers are understood to be involved in the affair.

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