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Saudi King invites Iranian president for first visit to Riyadh after deal

20 Mar 2023 - 9:55

Saudi Arabia’s king has invited Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi for the first visit to the Arab kingdom after the recent deal for resumption of diplomatic relations between Tehran and Riyadh.

Mohammad Jamshidi, the Iranian president's deputy chief of staff for political affairs, made the announcement in a post on his Twitter account on Sunday, saying the Saudi king has extended the invitation in a letter.

"In a letter to President Raeisi, the king of Saudi Arabia welcomed the deal between the two brotherly countries, (and) invited him to Riyadh," he said, adding that the Saudi king has called for establishing economic and regional cooperation between the two countries.

The senior Iranian official said Raeisi has welcomed the invitation.

The latest invitation is seen as a significant step towards improving ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

After several days of intensive negotiations hosted by China, Iran and Saudi Arabia finally clinched a deal on March 10 to restore diplomatic relations and re-open embassies and missions within two months.

According to a joint statement, Iran and Saudi Arabia underscored the need to respect the national sovereignty and refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of one another.

They agreed to implement a security cooperation agreement signed in April 2001 and another accord reached in May 1998 to boost economic, commercial, investment, technical, scientific, cultural, sports, and youth affairs cooperation.

Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran in January 2016 after Iranian protesters, enraged by the execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr by the Saudi government, stormed its embassy in Tehran.

The two sides had held five rounds of negotiations in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad since April 2021.

Story Code: 587624

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Taghribnews (TNA)