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Iran says Saudi talks ongoing in ‘good atmosphere’

Iran’s foreign ministry says the Islamic Republic is continuing talks with regional rival Saudi Arabia in a “good atmosphere,” in the hope of reaching a “common understanding.”

Media reports last month revealed that Iranian and Saudi officials met in Baghdad in April, their first high-level meeting since Riyadh cut diplomatic ties with Tehran in 2016.

“Talks are still continuing in a good atmosphere,” ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh says at a press conference.

“We hope these talks can achieve a common understanding between Iran and Saudi Arabia,” he adds.

Ties between the two countries were cut in 2016 after Iranian protestors attacked Saudi diplomatic missions following the kingdom’s execution of a revered Shiite cleric.

The talks in Baghdad, facilitated by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi, remained secret until the Financial Times reported that a first meeting was held on April 9.

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