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Saudi King invites Iranian president to visit Riyadh – Iranian presidential office

Iranian Deputy Chief of Staff for Political Affairs Mohammad Jamshidi said that Ebrahim Raisi accepted the invitation

TEHRAN, March 19. /TASS/. King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia has invited Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to visit Riyadh, Mohammad Jamshidi, deputy head of the Iranian president's office for political affairs, said on Sunday.

"King Salman bin Abdulaziz hailed the agreement between the two brotherly countries [on the resumption of diplomatic relations] in a letter to President Raisi and invited him to pay an official visit to Riyadh and called for strengthening economic and regional cooperation," the Tasnim news agency quoted him as saying.

According to Jamshidi, the invitation was accepted.

On March 10, Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to normalize bilateral relations and open embassies within two months. Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran Ali Shamkhani and Minister of State, National Security Advisor of Saudi Arabia Musaad bin Mohammed Al Aiban held talks in Beijing for several days, after which a trilateral statement was adopted. The statement says that the countries are committed to the principles of sovereignty and non-interference in each other’s domestic affairs and plan to resume cooperation in the areas of trade, the economy, culture, science and technology.

Relations between Riyadh and Tehran became strained in March 2015 after a Saudi-led coalition launched a military operation in Yemen against the Ansar Allah (Houthi) movement. Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran in January 2016 after its embassy in Tehran and a consulate in Mashhad were attacked by crowds protesting against the execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr in Riyadh, a prominent Shia cleric. Later in that month, Bahrain followed Saudi Arabia’s lead and severed diplomatic relations with Iran.