Tehran, Apr 11 (IANS): The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman has said that Iran and Saudi Arabia will exchange ambassadors after the reopening of their diplomatic missions.
Nasser Kanaani said on Monday that the Saudi team arrived in Iran on Saturday to lay the groundwork for the reopening of the kingdom's embassy in Tehran and consulate general in the northeastern city of Mashhad, Xinhua news agency reported, citing a report by Iran's official news agency IRNA.
He added that the Iranian delegation will soon travel to Saudi Arabia for the same purpose ahead of the scheduled reopening of Iran's embassy in Riyadh and its consulate general and representative office to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Jeddah.
Following the signing of a joint statement by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and his Saudi counterpart Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud in Beijing on Thursday, the two countries have practically resumed official diplomatic relations, Kanaani said.
Praising China for its "goodwill and positive approach" and "constructive role" in the normalisation of ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia, Kanaani said Beijing had helped complete the diplomatic process that started in Baghdad and Muscat, and bring about a "constructive transformation" in relations between Tehran and Riyadh.
During their meeting in Beijing on Thursday, the Iranian and Saudi foreign ministers agreed to lay the groundwork for the exchange of economic delegations from public and private sectors, and hold meetings between their joint economic commissions, according to Kanaani.
Saudi Arabia and Iran reached a deal in March to resume diplomatic relations and reopen embassies and missions in the two countries within two months.
Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Iran in 2016 in response to the attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran after the kingdom executed a Shiite cleric.