RIYHADH (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia confirmed on Sunday it had held its first spherical of direct talks with Iran’s new authorities final month, a part of a course of begun earlier this yr to scale back rigidity between the Gulf’s rival Sunni and Shi’ite Muslim powers.
The longtime foes who severed ties in 2016 started talks in April, at a time when Washington and Tehran had been discussing reviving a nuclear pact that Riyadh and its allies had opposed.
Three rounds of Saudi-Iranian talks had been held in Iraq within the months earlier than Iran’s new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, took workplace in August.
International Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud mentioned the most recent spherical had taken place on Sept. 21. He didn’t give the situation of the assembly. The date coincides with a speech by Raisi on the U.N. Normal Meeting in New York.
“These discussions are nonetheless within the exploratory part. We hope they’ll present a foundation to deal with unresolved points between the 2 sides and we are going to attempt and work to grasp that,” he informed a joint information convention.
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Saudi Arabia and Iran have backed opposing sides in regional conflicts and political disputes in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq for years, and Saudi Arabia has led an Arab coalition waging struggle in opposition to the Iran-aligned Houthi motion in Yemen since 2015.
Riyadh and Tehran have each mentioned they hope the talks can ease tensions, whereas taking part in down expectations of a significant diplomatic breakthrough. Iran didn’t instantly touch upon the Sept. 21 spherical of talks. Riyadh has mentioned it will choose the federal government of Raisi by the truth on the bottom.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump deserted the settlement below which Iran had accepted curbs to its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of sanctions. Tehran responded by violating a few of its phrases.
Oblique talks involving america and Iran on reviving that pact had been placed on maintain in June and have but to renew below Raisi. Western powers have urged Iran to return to the negotiations.
Prince Faisal was talking throughout a go to to Riyadh by EU international coverage chief Josep Borrell, who mentioned he had briefed his companions on the prospects for restarting the nuclear talks.
(Reporting by Raya Jalabi in Riyadh and Aziz El Yaakoubi in Dubai; Writing by Ghaida Ghantous)
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