Saudi Arabia’s Parliament begins steps for “long-term cooperation deal” with Iran
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says Saudi Arabia has begun the parliamentary measures for the framework of a long-term cooperation between the Arab kingdom and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
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"[Saudi Crown Prince] Mohammed bin Salman ordered [the kingdom's] Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan for the preliminary measures to take place towards devising of the framework of the long-term cooperation document between the countries," the Iranian top diplomat told reporters on Friday on board the plane that was taking him back to Iran from the kingdom.
Upon completion, the document would be signed by the countries' high-ranking officials, Amir-Abdollahian added.
Amir-Abdollahian's visit, the first one to be made by an Iranian foreign minister to the kingdom in more than a decade, marked a milestone in the countries' relations.
The ties were severed by Saudi Arabia in January 2016, after Iranian protesters, angered by the execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr by the Saudi government, stormed the Saudi Embassy in Tehran.
Back in March, however, the two sides clinched a reconciliation deal after several days of intensive negotiations hosted by China, and three months later, each side appointed a new ambassador to the other's capital.
Detailing his talks during the trip with the Saudi crown prince, the foreign minister said the two met for "90 minutes, more than 70 percent of which was focused on bilateral issues."
"Because we are of the opinion that all-out and sustainable relations should take shape between Tehran and Riyadh," Amir-Abdollahian noted.The Iranian foreign minister said Saudi Arabia strove during the visit to emphasize that it had adopted a "new attitude" compared to the past.The Saudi authorities, he noted, tried to display their readiness for opening up "a new page in the countries' relations."
"The region will enter a new page of multilateral cooperation," he said, attributing the prospect to the emergence of the understanding that the region can move towards development "without reliance on foreigners."
The Iranian top diplomat, meanwhile, announced that the country had invited the Saudi crown prince to pay a visit to the Islamic Republic.
The Saudi official accepted the visit, saying he would devise the necessary plans to travel to Tehran "at the opportune time," Amir-Abdollahian stated.