Iran’s foreign minister traveled to Saudi Arabia on Thursday, marking the first trip to the kingdom by Tehran’s top diplomat in years after the two nations reached a détente with Chinese mediation.
The visit by Hossein Amirabdollahian comes as both Saudi Arabia and Iran try to ease tensions between their nations, which long have viewed each other as archrivals for influence across the wider Middle East. Challenges remain, however, particularly over Iran’s advancing nuclear program, the Saudi-led war in Yemen and security across region’s waterways.
Amirabdollahian’s trip to Riyadh comes as the two nations are reopening diplomatic missions in each others’ countries. He was accompanied by Alireza Enayati, Iran’s new ambassador to the kingdom.
Amirabdollahian met with his Saudi counterpart, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, and later delivered on-camera statements.
“Our meeting today is a continuation of the steps taken towards implementing the agreement to resume diplomatic relations, which represents a pivotal platform in the history of the two countries and the path of regional security,” Prince Faisal said.