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Iranians Receive Saudi Visas For Diplomatic Posts

December 24, 2021

In a sign of thaw in ruptured ties, Saudi Arabia has approved visas for three Iranian diplomats allowing them to take up posts at the headquarters of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the kingdom, Saudi and Iranian officials said.

Shi'ite-led Iran and Sunni-controlled Saudi Arabia have held several rounds of talks since April aimed at improving relations.

The two regional rivals severed diplomatic relations in 2016 after Iranian protesters attacked Saudi diplomatic missions following Riyadh's execution of a prominent Shi'ite cleric.

"Saudi Arabia has agreed to grant visas to three Iranian diplomats as part of a routine procedure for representatives of a member state of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which is headquartered in Jeddah," a Saudi Foreign Ministry official said on December 24.

Speaking in Tehran on December 23 alongside his Iraqi counterpart, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said the visas were issued last week and that a new round of talks with Saudi Arabia in Baghdad will take place soon.

He added that Baghdad-brokered talks with Riyadh had gone well, and Saudi officials had responded positively to Tehran's proposals.

"We are ready to send technical delegations to restore relations to normal," he said.

The Saudi kingdom has described the direct discussions launched earlier this year with Tehran as cordial but exploratory.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters and Bloomberg

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/iran-saudi-visas -diplomatic-relations/31624446.html

Copyright (c) 2021. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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