Iran’s Ambassador to Iraq, Mohammad Kazem Al-Sadegh, hosted his Saudi counterpart Abdulaziz Al-Shammari for iftar (breaking of the Ramadan fast) at the Islamic Republic’s Embassy in Baghdad yesterday evening. It marks the latest sign of a growing normalisation between the two countries following a recent agreement brokered by China that led to the resumption of diplomatic relations.

Among those present were the ambassadors of Palestine and Syria in Iraq. The presence of the Syrian envoy comes after reports that Saudi Arabia is to restore full diplomatic relations with Damascus. Plans are underway to reopen their respective embassies after Eid Al-Fitr which follows the fasting month.

Iraq played a key role in hosting several rounds of talks aimed at restoring ties between Riyadh and Tehran after they were severed in 2016 following the execution in the Kingdom of outspoken Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimr. The execution led to angry mobs storming Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Norway, Amal Yahya Al-Moallimi, hosted an iftar event on Tuesday, with Iranian envoy to Oslo Ali Reza Yousefi in attendance. The Iranian diplomat said on Twitter that the recent agreement between Riyadh and Tehran “has opened a new chapter in the friendly relations” between both countries.

Earlier this month, the Saudi and Iranian foreign ministers agreed to meet during the fasting month of Ramadan. A first meeting between the top diplomats is expected to take place in Baghdad, according to the Saudi Gazette.

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi has also welcomed an invitation from King Salman Bin Abdulaziz to visit Riyadh. Tehran is also likely to formally return the courtesy and extend an official invitation to the Saudi monarch to visit Iran.

Source » middleeastmonitor