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Raisi welcomes the King’s invitation to visit Saudi Arabia

An Iranian official said that the Iranian president received an invitation to visit Saudi Arabia after the reconciliation agreement.

An Iranian official said that Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi received an invitation from Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz to visit the kingdom, following the reconciliation agreement between the two countries.

In a letter to the main president, the Saudi monarch welcomed… the deal between the two brotherly countries [and] And he invited him to Riyadh on Twitter, “Muhammad Jamshidi, deputy chief of the Iranian president’s office for political affairs,” adding to Sunday’s message that “my boss welcomed the invitation.”

The two regional heavyweights were announced on March 10 Chinese mediated agreement to restore relations Seven years after being snapped.

Riyadh severed ties after Iranian protesters attacked Saudi diplomatic missions in 2016 following the Saudi execution of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr — just one in a series of flashpoints between the two longtime regional rivals.

The agreement is expected to see the reopening of the embassies and missions of Shiite-majority Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia within two months and the implementation of security and economic cooperation agreements signed more than 20 years ago.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told reporters on Sunday that the two countries had agreed to hold a meeting between their top diplomats.

He added that three sites were proposed for the talks, without specifying their location.

Ali Hashem, Al-Jazeera correspondent from Tehran, said that Amir Abdullahian stressed that “the two countries are exchanging technical teams to inspect the embassies in Tehran and Riyadh and see if they are ready to deploy the two missions there.”

He added, “The Iranians suggested, according to Amir Abdollahian, three places for the meeting. The exchange took place now through the Swiss embassy, ​​not through the Chinese. “This may indicate that there are several channels between the Iranians and the Saudis at the present time,” Hashim said.

The détente between Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, and Iran, deeply at odds with Western governments over its nuclear activities, has the potential to reshape relations across a region that has been in turmoil for decades.

Iran and Saudi Arabia support opposing sides in several conflict zones – including Yemen, where Houthi rebels are allied with Tehran and where Riyadh leads a military coalition that supports the government.

The two sides also compete for influence in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.

A number of Gulf countries followed Riyadh’s moves in 2016 and reduced relations with Tehran, although the UAE and Kuwait recently restored relations.

Amir Abdollahian said Iran also hopes to take steps to normalize its relations with Bahrain, a close ally of Saudi Arabia that came after Riyadh cut diplomatic ties with Iran in 2016.

In the past, Bahrain has accused Iran of training and supporting a Shiite-led uprising in the Sunni-ruled kingdom in order to overthrow the Manama government. Tehran denies this.

It was agreed two months ago that Iranian and Bahraini technical delegations would visit the embassies of the two countries. “We hope to remove some obstacles between Iran and Bahrain, and we will take the basic steps to reopen the two embassies,” Amir Abdollahian added.

There was no immediate comment from Manama.

Bahrain and other Gulf Arab countries welcomed the agreement between Riyadh and Tehran to restore relations.

In September, Iran received an Emirati ambassador after an absence of six years, and said a month ago that Kuwait had sent its first ambassador to Tehran since 2016.

Senior Iranian security official Ali Shamkhani also held talks with United Arab Emirates President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, in another sign of shifting relations in the region.

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