Middle Eastern regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia have agreed in Beijing to restore diplomatic ties and reopen their embassies.
With this, it is said to have made great progress in their multi-year efforts to normalize the situation after the two countries severed diplomatic ties in 2016, according to the French news agency AFP.
“After talks, Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to restore diplomatic ties and reopen embassies within two months,” the official press agencies of both countries reported.
The two countries also thanked China for hosting and supporting the negotiations. They also thanked Iraq, which has hosted several rounds of talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia since April 2021. Today’s agreement has already been welcomed in Baghdad.
Relations between the two countries soured in 2016, when Iranian protesters over the execution of a respected Shia cleric Nimra Al Nimra attacked Saudi diplomatic missions, and Saudi Arabia responded to the attacks by cutting diplomatic ties with Iran.
Predominantly Sunni Saudi Arabia and predominantly Shiite Iran otherwise support opposing sides in several conflicts, including in Yemen, where Tehran supports the Houthis rebels, Riyadh and the military coalition, which is on the side of the government.