Published: Less than 40 min ago
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi “welcomes” an invitation from Saudi King Salman to visit Saudi Arabia, one of the president’s closest associates announced on Sunday.
The invitation has been addressed to Iran as a reconciliation gesture after the thaw that began between the two arch-enemies just over a week ago.
The two countries then decided to shortly resume their diplomatic relations after a seven-year break.
“In a letter to President Raisi, the King of Saudi Arabia welcomed the agreement between the two brotherly countries and invited him to Riyadh,” tweeted Mohammad Jamshidi, deputy head of the Iranian president’s political unit.
Jamshidi adds that “Raisi welcomes the invitation”.
Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shiite-dominated Iran are on different sides in several conflicts in the Middle East. Among them is the conflict in Yemen where the Houthi rebels are supported by Tehran, while Riyadh leads a coalition fighting the rebels.
The relationship between the countries froze in 2016 after Iranian protesters occupied Saudi diplomatic missions, protesting the execution of a Shiite dissident in Saudi Arabia. Iran has been repeatedly accused of carrying out attacks on the Saudi oil industry.
The agreement to resume diplomatic relations was negotiated during “intensive talks” in China.