Arrangements afoot for Tehran-Riyadh ministerial meeting, Iran says

March 13, 2023 - 21:10

TEHRAN- Following a recent agreement on the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries, plans are being made for a meeting between the foreign ministers of Iran and Saudi Arabia, according to Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani.

At a news conference on Monday, Kanaani stated that Iran and Saudi Arabia have decided to begin fresh conversations at a higher level than the ones that led to the Beijing rapprochement deal.

He mentioned that contacts and a meeting between Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian are being set up by the foreign ministries of both countries.

Kanaani also emphasized the favorable consequences of detente between Iran and Riyadh on regional events, stating, “Diplomacy has demonstrated its outcome quite clearly. The accord reached between Iran and Saudi Arabia demonstrated the effectiveness of diplomatic remedies to misunderstandings.”

The official pointed out that the agreement would have other favorable effects on the region, particularly on relations between Iran and other nations, which raised the prospect of bettering ties between Iran and Bahrain.

Iran and Saudi Arabia signed a deal on Friday in which they agreed to restart diplomatic ties and reopen their embassies and diplomatic missions over the next two months after three days of hectic negotiations in Beijing.

Prior to the Beijing deal, Iraq and Oman had hosted security talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

“Prisoner exchange agreement with U.S.”

Kanaani also said that a deal between Iran and the U.S. for the exchange of prisoners is solely humanitarian and shouldn’t be politicized.

“The issue of swapping prisoners is entirely humanitarian from the perspective of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and it shouldn’t be the topic of political games,” he stated.

The official added, “Since last March, a written agreement between the two sides regarding the exchange of prisoners has been inked through an intermediary.”

“An official representative introduced by the American side has also signed the agreement, but the deal has not been implemented so far by the U.S. administration under various excuses,” he noted. 

In his closing remarks, Kanaani said, “Indirect communications have been exchanged between Iran and the U.S. throughout recent weeks to revise that accord.” 

“Good potential of Cairo and Tehran is necessary for the region”

The spokesperson also emphasized the importance of Iran and Egypt’s capacities in the region, reaffirming Tehran’s readiness to normalize relations with adjacent and regional nations such as Jordan and Libya.

When asked about plans for restoring ties between Iran and Egypt, Kanaani said, “Egypt is a significant nation, and the two states (Iran and Egypt) attach value to each other. The good potential of Cairo and Tehran is necessary for the region.”

On the re-establishment of diplomatic ties between Iran and Jordan, Kanaani underlined that despite lack of political ties, Tehran and Amman have never stopped political talks in the past.

The spokesperson also highlighted the successful conversations between Iran and Libya, indicating that on Sunday, the Libyan foreign minister and Iran’s accredited ambassador in Tripoli addressed a number of topics, including the reopening of the embassies.

He also said, “We want to see the restoration of activity of the two nations’ embassies.”

“Plane was flying in Iranian airspace”

In recent days the Republic of Azerbaijan summoned the Iranian ambassador to Baku over claims that an Iranian plane flew close to border areas. However, Kanaani said the Iranian pilots did not make a mistake because the plane was flying in Iranian airspace and radars were not sending any warnings.

He also chastised Azerbaijan for publicizing the presence of Iran’s military attaché at its embassy in Baku, saying that expressing differences through media sources did not help resolve disputes.

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