Iran, Saudi Arabia to exchange high-level visits

Tehran, Apr 18 (IANS): The Iranian Foreign Ministry said Tehran and Saudi Arabia will exchange mutual visits, including high-level ones, as part of the two Arab nations' efforts to fully restore bilateral ties and in line with their agreements to expand cooperation.

Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani made the remarks on Monday at a press conference here when responding to a question about any further detail on a possible trip by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to Saudi Arabia, reports Xinhua news agency.

Kanaani said Raisi has received a visit invitation from Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, to which the President has responded by inviting the monarch to visit Tehran.

Foreign Ministers of the two countries have also invited each other for visits, Kanaani added.

The spokesman, however, stressed that such exchange visits will only be taken following necessary planning and the implementation of required executive steps.

Kanaani noted that the two sides are on the path of implementing two comprehensive agreements, one to expand economic, trade, cultural, and sports cooperation with each other and the other to increase security collaboration.

He stressed that delegations from the two countries will carry out further exchanges in the near future to implement the two agreements.

Kanaani expressed optimism that the Tehran-Riyadh rapprochement would enhance regional cooperation and convergence and benefit the whole region.

When asked whether the Tehran-Riyadh agreement would impact talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, Kanaani said the relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia do not have any specific relation to the nuclear talks.

Iran and Saudi Arabia in March reached a deal in China which includes the agreement to resume diplomatic relations and reopen embassies and missions in two months.

Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Iran in early 2016 in response to attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran after the kingdom executed a Shia cleric.




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