No date set for next round of talks with Saudi Arabia: spokesman

May 31, 2022 - 23:10

TEHRAN – Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, said on Tuesday that no date has been set for the next round of talks with Saudi Arabia.

Speaking at a weekly press conference, Khatibzadeh said, “The date of the sixth round of talks with Saudi Arabia has not been determined yet, and we have to see in which direction the agreements reached are moving.”

He added, “In the field of Hajj, agreements have been implemented and we hope that our pilgrims will have a peaceful Hajj. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the relevant institutions, has made every effort, despite the time constraints, to provide a peaceful and pleasant Hajj for our pilgrims with the cooperation of different parts of Saudi Arabia. We need to see how we move forward in other areas of the agreement and then talk about it.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian announced on Sunday that a Foreign Ministry team has been tasked to facilitate Hajj pilgrimage by Iranian citizens.

“The Consular and Iranian Affairs Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has dedicated all its capacity to facilitate the Hajj pilgrimage for the pilgrims and the executive officials of the pilgrimage from the beginning to the end of their departure,” Amir Abdollahian said in a meeting with officials from the Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization and Foreign Ministry.  

At the meeting issues related to sending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia to perform the 145th Hajj ritual were discussed.

Amir Abdollahian emphasized the efforts of the Foreign Ministry at various levels to facilitate the departure of Iranian pilgrims for this year's Hajj and to participate in this great divine ritual.

Iran’s top diplomat also stated that the ministry under his leadership will send a consular delegation to Saudi Arabia for this purpose.

Amir Abdollahian expressed the hope that this year's ritual would be glorious and peaceful with the help of Saudi officials.

The fifth round of talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia was held on April 21 in Baghdad with the presence of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. The talks had been put on hold since September last year.

The Iranian delegation was led by Saeed Irvani, an assistant to the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council for international affairs. And the Saudi delegation was headed by Khalid al-Humaidan, the director general of the General Intelligence Directorate.

The Arabic service of Russia Today quoted an Iraqi source as saying that al-Kadhimi attended the meeting between the Saudi and Iranian security delegations in Baghdad.

The source added that “the two sides agreed to end the security negotiations, and they will move to diplomatic negotiations.”

The source pointed out that “it is expected that the sixth meeting will be held on Iraqi soil.”

The source continued, “The meeting was positive, and they agreed on a set of points of de-escalation between Riyadh and Tehran.”

Iran has hailed the talks as “positive” and “forward-moving.”

“The fifth round of talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia in Baghdad was held last Thursday with the efforts of the Iraqi government and the preparations and assistance of the Omani government, and the talks were forward-moving and positive,” Khatibzadeh said in April.

He added, “The frameworks that have been pre-planned were thoroughly discussed in these talks. And the talks were serious. If they are upgraded to the political level a bit, we can rapidly witness serious progress in various fields within the framework of the negotiations.”

The spokesman also raised the possibility of a meeting between the foreign ministers of Iran and Saudi Arabia. But he said, “We are not there yet.”

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