• The move was announced following a meeting between the countries’ foreign ministers
  • Also agreed to implement security and economic cooperation deals signed more than 20 years ago

RIYADH (Agencies): Saudi Arabia and Iran formally restored diplomatic ties, agreed to resume flights between the two countries as well as facilitate the granting of visas to citizens, a joint statement released on Thursday said.

The move, which includes the granting of Umrah visas, was announced following a meeting between Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amirabdollahian during an official visit to Beijing.

Along with the resumption of flights and granting of visas, the agreement detailed the start of arrangements to reopen the embassies of the two countries in Riyadh and Tehran as well as consulates in Jeddah and Mashhad.

They also agreed to implement security and economic cooperation deals signed more than 20 years ago.

During a luncheon hosted by Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, Prince Faisal met Amirabdollahian and shortly after released a joint statement.

The two countries have also agreed to reestablish diplomatic ties through resuming visits by officials and private sector delegations.

The statement stressed the importance of activating the Beijing Agreement to enhance mutual trust and broaden the scope of cooperation in order to achieve security and stability in the region.

The agreement to renew ties was signed by Saudi National Security Adviser Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban and top Iranian security official Ali Shamkhani.

Prince Faisal expressed his appreciation for China’s efforts to develop relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The Saudi foreign minister and his Iranian counterpart also discussed ways to achieve common interests and enhance efforts to achieve peace in the region and the world.

After concluding the meeting in Bejing on Thursday, the Saudi foreign minister renewed his invitation for Amirabdollahian to visit the Kingdom and hold a bilateral meeting in Riyadh.

Before the luncheon held in Beijing, the two ministers had exchanged calls to discuss restoring ties following talks hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing last month.

Iran and Saudi Arabia spent four days in talks between March 6 and March 10. The dialog resulted in an agreement to reestablish diplomatic relations and reopen embassies within two months.

In a tripartite agreement, Saudi Arabia, Iran and China agreed to revive a Security Cooperation Agreement, originally signed in 2001, and a 1998 General Agreement for Cooperation in areas such as trade, investment, technology, science, culture and sports.

By Media

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