Iran sending delegation to Saudi Arabia ahead of embassy reopening

Iran’s foreign ministry says a delegation will visit Saudi Arabia by Friday to pave the way for reopening its diplomatic missions there following a similar move by Riyadh.

The announcement comes a day after a Saudi delegation arrived in Tehran on a similar diplomatic trip, and follows a historic meeting between the two Gulf countries’ foreign ministers in China.

“We are expecting a foreign ministry delegation to visit Saudi Arabia” by Friday, Deputy Foreign Minister Alireza Enayati says in an interview with state television.

“Two separate delegations will go to Riyadh and Jeddah,” ahead of reopening Iran’s embassy and consulate respectively.

Saudi Arabia severed relations with Iran in January 2016, after its embassy in Tehran and consulate in the northwestern city of Mashhad were attacked by protesters demonstrating over Riyadh’s execution of Saudi opposition Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan met in the Chinese capital on Thursday after Tehran and Riyadh agreed last month to restore diplomatic ties.

In a joint statement, the ministers pledged to bring back security and stability to the turbulent Gulf.

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