Saudi, Iranian foreign ministers to meet during Muslim holy month
(Reuters) – Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amirabdollahian, have agreed to meet during the ongoing Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the Saudi state news agency SPA said on Monday, under a deal to restore ties.
Both ministers spoke by phone for the second time in a few days, SPA said.
“During the call, a number of common issues were discussed in light of the tripartite agreement that was signed in the People’s Republic of China. The two ministers also agreed to hold a bilateral meeting between them during the ongoing month of Ramadan,” SPA said.
Ramadan is likely to end on April 20.
Earlier this month, Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to revive relations after years of hostility that had threatened stability and security in the Gulf and helped fuel conflicts in the Middle East from Yemen to Syria.
The deal between the regional powers, Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and long-time rival Shi’ite Iran, brokered by China, was announced after previously undisclosed talks in Beijing between top security officials from the two countries.
Analysts say both sides stand to benefit from de-escalation, as Iran seeks to undercut U.S. efforts to isolate it in the region and Saudi Arabia tries to focus on economic development.
Saudi Arabia cut ties with Iran in 2016 after its embassy in Tehran was stormed during a dispute between the two countries over Riyadh’s execution of a Shi’ite Muslim cleric.
The kingdom also has blamed Iran for missile and drone attacks on its oil facilities in 2019 as well as attacks on tankers in Gulf waters. Iran denied those allegations.
Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement has also carried out cross-border missile and drone attacks into Saudi Arabia, which leads a coalition fighting the Houthis, and in 2022 extended the strikes to the United Arab Emirates.