The Saudi King has invited Iran’s President to visit Riyadh

Iran Saudi Arabia Embassy

Little over a week after Tehran and Riyadh decided to restore diplomatic relations, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has asked Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to visit Riyadh, according to a senior source here.

Mohammad Jamshidi, Raisi’s deputy chief of staff for political affairs, confirmed the development in a tweet on Sunday, saying the invitation was issued to the President in a letter from the Saudi monarch, according to Xinhua.

According to Jamshidi, the Saudi king stated in the letter that he welcomed the recent agreement between the two “brotherly countries” on the normalisation of bilateral ties and urged Riyadh and Tehran to strengthen economic and regional cooperation.

According to the official, Raisi accepted the offer and emphasised Iran’s willingness to strengthen relations.

On March 10, China, Saudi Arabia, and Iran declared that Riyadh and Tehran had achieved an agreement to restart diplomatic relations and reopen embassies and missions within two months.

Iran’s Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, also told reporters on Sunday that the two countries had agreed to conduct a meeting at the level of Foreign Ministers, and that three prospective venues had been proposed.

He did not specify the places or the date of the meeting.

The two countries have also stated that they will reopen embassies within two months and resume economic and security cooperation.

Saudi Arabia severed ties in January 2016 when protesters stormed its embassy in Tehran following the execution of famous Shia Muslim cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr on terror-related charges.

Since then, tensions have been high between the Sunni- and Shia-led neighbours, with each seeing the other as a menacing entity seeking regional control.

They have been on opposing sides in various regional crises, notably Syria and Yemen’s civil wars.