Iraq welcomes Iran-Saudi Arabia's rapprochement


Shafaq News/ The Iraqi Foreign Ministry on Friday welcomed Saudi Arabia and Iran's agreement to resume bilateral relations, saying it marks a new chapter in diplomatic ties between the two countries.

In a statement released today, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry commended the efforts made by the Iraqi government in facilitating dialogues between the two sides.

The statement shed light on "the dialogues that took place in Baghdad and were followed by rounds of talks in Oman and the People's Republic of China, leading up to the agreement."

The ministry said the agreement will help enhance the relationship between the two countries and promote greater cooperation among regional states.

The agreement comes as a positive development in the region, which has been beset by years of conflict and instability. The resumption of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran could help to ease tensions and promote stability in the region.

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry reiterated its commitment to supporting efforts to promote peace and stability in the region, and to working closely with regional and international partners to achieve these goals.

A White House national security spokesperson told Reuters the United States was aware of reports of the Iranian-Saudi agreement and welcomed any efforts to help end war in Yemen and de-escalate tensions in the Middle East.

Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed on Friday to re-establish relations after seven years of hostility which had threatened stability and security in the Gulf and helped fuel conflicts in the Middle East from Yemen to Syria.

The deal was announced after four days of previously undisclosed talks in Beijing between top security officials from the two rival Middle East powers.

Tehran and Riyadh agreed "to resume diplomatic relations between them and re-open their embassies and missions within a period not exceeding two months", according to a statement issued by Iran, Saudi Arabia, and China.

"The agreement includes their affirmation of the respect for the sovereignty of states and the non-interference in internal affairs."

They also agreed to activate a security cooperation agreement signed in 2001, as well as another earlier accord on trade, economy and investment.

Both countries thanked China, as well as Iraq and Oman for hosting earlier talks in 2021 and 2022.

The agreement was signed by Iran's top security official, Ali Shamkhani, and Saudi Arabia's national security adviser Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban.

The two leading Shi'ite and Sunni Muslim powers in the Middle East have been at odds for years, and backed opposite sides in proxy wars from Yemen to Syria and elsewhere.

Saudi Arabia cut ties with Iran in 2016 after its embassy in Tehran was stormed during a dispute between the two countries over Riyadh's execution of a Shiite Muslim cleric.

A senior Iranian security official said Friday's agreement had been endorsed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

"That is why Shamkhani travelled to China as the supreme leader's representative," the official told Reuters." The establishment wanted to show that the top authority in Iran backed this decision."

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