Iran, Saudi set to resume dialogue

Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks after a meeting with his Qatari counterpart Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in the Iranian capital Tehran…reports Asian Lite News

The Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has said that Iran and Saudi Arabia are expected to resume talks on normalising ties soon.

Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks on Sunday at a joint press conference with his Qatari counterpart Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani following their meeting in the Iranian capital Tehran, commenting on the next round of rapprochement talks between Tehran and Riyadh.

He also mentioned that Iran’s ties with Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have improved as the two Arab states have already sent their ambassadors back to Tehran.

He stressed that the indirect exchange of messages between Iran and Bahrain is continuing through a mediator, adding the two sides can very well pass through the stage of talks and enter the next phase, which is an expansion of lasting cooperation.

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

To improve bilateral relations and ease regional tension, Iraq hosted four rounds of direct talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia in 2021 and the fifth-round in April last year.

Exports grow

Iran’s exports to Saudi Arabia have increased dramatically in 2022 amid the two countries’ efforts to ease tensions, Iran’s IRIB news agency reported.

Iran’s customs administration on Saturday said during the period from the Iranian New Year that fell on March 21 to November 1, 2022, the value of Iranian exports to Saudi Arabia reached $14.71 million, which is a record high since Riyadh cut diplomatic ties with Tehran in 2016.

During the same period in 2021, the trade volume only stood at $42,000, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to the IRIB report, the main exports include steel ingots, grapes and sodium hydroxide, among others.

Rounds of talk between the two sides took place in 2022 to improve bilateral relations and ease regional tension.

Meanwhile, Xi Jinping’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia caused a shock for Iran. It has left Tehran wondering whether China is changing its priorities in the region, especially in the aftermath of declining American presence. This visit is being seen as a turning point in Beijing’s foreign policy toward the Persian Gulf states, reported The Jakarta Post.

Although China maintains close relations with Iran and Saudi Arabia, the latter has emerged as one of Beijing’s leading strategic partners in the region.

Tehran is worried about China’s recent embrace of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations as Iran believes that China has taken a neutral stand in Iran’s rivalry with Saudi Arabia in the Gulf region.

The Chinese leader published a joint statement with the government of Saudi Arabia in which he asked Iran to cooperate in the controversial nuclear case and avoid interfering in the affairs of neighbouring countries.

Egypt President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. (File Photo: IANS)

Building ties with Egypt

Iranian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Nasser Kanaani has said that Iran sees no problem with building relations with Egypt.

At a weekly press conference, Kanaani hailed the talks between the Iranian Foreign Minister and his Egyptian counterpart on the side lines of a recent regional conference in Jordan’s capital Amman as “positive”, Xinhua news agency reported.

More talks are being held to resolve consular issues between the two countries, he added.

Speaking of the Iraqi prime minister’s recent proposal to facilitate talks between Iran and Egypt, Kanaani said Iran “welcomes any positive steps taken for Iran-Egypt relations”, reaffirming Tehran’s rapprochement regional policy.

In recent years, Iran has announced readiness to mend ties with Egypt by settling differences on certain issues.

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