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Saudi Arabia plans for contemporary spherical of talks with Iran, says overseas minister

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Overseas Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud arrives for a gathering with the Overseas Ministers of the G7 Nations on the Munich Safety Convention (MSC) in Munich, Germany, February 19, 2022. Ina Fassbender/Pool through REUTERS

DUBAI — Saudi Arabia’s overseas minister mentioned on Saturday the dominion was trying to schedule a fifth spherical of direct talks with rival Iran regardless of a “lack of substantive progress” to this point, and urged Tehran to vary its conduct within the area.

Saudi Arabia and Iran, which lower ties in 2016, launched talks final 12 months hosted by Iraq as international powers sought to salvage a nuclear pact with Tehran, which Gulf states deemed flawed for not tackling Iran’s missiles program and community of proxies.

Saudi Overseas Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud mentioned if the 2015 nuclear pact was revived that ought to be “a place to begin, not an finish level” with the intention to tackle regional considerations, and that Riyadh remained keen on talks with Iran.

“That can certainly require from our neighbors in Iran a critical want to deal with the underlying points that exist … We hope that there’s a critical want to discover a new modus operandi,” he mentioned.

“If we see substantive progress on these recordsdata, then sure rapprochement is feasible. Up to now now we have not seen that,” he instructed the Munich Safety Convention.

Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite Iran are vying for affect in a rivalry that has performed out throughout the area in occasions similar to Yemen’s conflict and in Lebanon, the place Iran-backed Hezbollah’s rising energy has frayed Beirut’s Gulf ties.

Earlier this month, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi mentioned Tehran was prepared for extra talks if Riyadh was keen to carry them in an environment of mutual understanding and respect.

Tensions between the 2 nations spiked in 2019 after an assault on Saudi oil vegetation that Riyadh blamed on Iran, a cost Tehran denies, and proceed to simmer over Yemen the place a Saudi-led coalition is battling the Iran-aligned Houthi movement.

Prince Faisal mentioned Iran continued to offer the Houthis with ballistic missile and drone components in addition to standard weapons, a cost each Tehran and the group deny.

“This doesn’t contribute to discovering a path to settle that battle, however we’re dedicated and we’re supportive of the United Nations consultant,” he mentioned, referring to stalled U.N.-led efforts for a ceasefire in Yemen.


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