News ID: 317099
Published: 0300 GMT October 15, 2021

Saudi Arabia says talks with Iran ‘cordial, serious’

Saudi Arabia says talks with Iran ‘cordial, serious’

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan has said that talks with Iran had been "cordial," describing the negotiations as "exploratory,” the Financial Times reported on Friday.

"We are serious about the talks," bin Farhan told the FT in an interview. "For us it’s not that big a shift. We’ve always said we want to find a way to stabilize the region."

The two Middle East powers have held four rounds of talks since April, including a first meeting last month with the government of President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi.

Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Iran in January 2016 after protesters, angered by the kingdom’s execution of a revered Shia cleric, rallied outside Saudi missions in Tehran and Mashhad.  

The Financial Times cited an unnamed Saudi official as saying that Riyadh was considering reopening of Iran’s consulate in Jeddah. Riyadh was also considering allowing Tehran to reopen its representative office for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in the port city, it added.

Under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s rule, Riyadh had aggressively pursued a confrontational policy vis-a-vis Iran, but Prince Faisal indicated that his country has changed track, Press TV wrote.

Prince Faisal cited a “confluence of events that made it feel like it was the right moment” to talk to Iran.

Last month, Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud expressed hope that Riyadh's direct dialogue with Tehran would lead to confidence building.






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