Saudi confirms first spherical of talks with new Iranian authorities


RIYHADH, Oct 3 (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 12 months 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.

Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud stated 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. General Assembly in New York.

“These discussions are still in the exploratory phase. We hope they will provide a basis to address unresolved issues between the two sides and we will strive and work to realise that,” he informed a joint information convention.

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 stated they hope the talks can ease tensions, whereas taking part in down expectations of a serious diplomatic breakthrough. Iran didn’t instantly touch upon the Sept. 21 spherical of talks. Riyadh has stated it could decide the federal government of Raisi by the truth on the bottom.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump deserted the settlement underneath 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.

Indirect talks involving the United States and Iran on reviving that pact had been placed on maintain in June and have but to renew underneath Raisi. Western powers have urged Iran to return to the negotiations.

Prince Faisal was talking throughout a go to to Riyadh by EU overseas coverage chief Josep Borrell, who stated he had briefed his companions on the prospects for restarting the nuclear talks. learn extra

Reporting by Raya Jalabi in Riyadh and Aziz El Yaakoubi in Dubai; Writing by Ghaida Ghantous

 Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud speaks during a joint news conference with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 3, 2021. REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri