Tehran: The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed for the first time on Monday that the Islamic Republic is holding talks with regional rival Saudi Arabia, but said the results of the discussions were “too early.”
Media reports later confirmed by sources in the diplomatic and Iraqi government showed that Iranian and Saudi officials met in Baghdad in April, the first high-level meeting since Riyadh severed diplomatic relations with Tehran in 2016.
“The purpose of the talks was both bilateral and regional,” Iran s foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters.
“But let us wait and see the results of these talks … it might still be too soon to talk about the details of the negotiations,” he added, noting that Iran has “always welcomed such talks at any level and in any shape”.
The neighbouring countries cut ties in 2016 after Iranian protestors attacked Saudi diplomatic missions following the kingdom s execution of a revered Shiite cleric.
The talks in Baghdad, facilitated by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi, remained secret until the Financial Times reported that a first meeting was held on April 9.
An Iraqi government official confirmed the talks with Agence France-Presse, while a Western diplomat said that he had “informed in advance” of his efforts to “promote better relations and reduce tensions.”
Iran called on Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (Mohammad bin Salman) to establish “good and special relations” with Tehran on April 29. Iran welcomed this.
From Syria to Yemen, competitors in the region have supported the opposition of several regional conflicts. From Syria to Yemen, a Saudi-led coalition is fighting Houthi rebels.
Iran supports Huthis, which is fighting the Saudi Arabia-led army that intervened in the Yemen war in 2015.
“De-escalation and (establishing) ties between two great Islamic countries in the Persian Gulf region is to the benefit of both nations,” Khatibzadeh said Monday.