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Talks with Saudi Arabia to advance from security to political level, Iran says

Saudi Arabia has expressed its readiness to advance the tension-easing talks between the two estranged neighbors from the security to the political level, Iran’s foreign minister said.

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Saudi Arabia has expressed its readiness to advance the tension-easing talks between the two estranged neighbors from the security to the political level, Iran’s foreign minister said.

Noting progress in the Baghdad-brokered talks that have been underway since last April, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks in an interview with Iran’s state TV late on Thursday.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein last week received a message saying that the Saudis were ready to advance the talks to the “political and public level,” Iran’s top diplomat said.

Iran also expressed its readiness to continue the ongoing talks brokered by the Iraqi government to the political level to restore their diplomatic ties, he added.

After protesters stormed Saudi diplomatic missions in Tehran and Mashhad over the execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Shia cleric in Saudi Arabia, the two Persian Gulf neighbors severed their diplomatic relations in 2016.

The two neighbors last year agreed to hold peace talks mediated by Baghdad after almost five years. A significant breakthrough has been eluding, while both sides have noted progress in the talks.

Including the reopening of embassies, lending credence to reports already doing rounds, Amir-Abdollahian said the two countries have reached some agreements in the five rounds of talks.

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan said Riyadh has “extended a hand of friendship to Iran,” after the Jeddah summit last week. Tehran welcomed the comments.

Saying the two countries introduced their envoys, and Tehran agreed with the choices, Iran’s top diplomat also announced that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait would be sending their ambassadors to Tehran “in a few days.”

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