Saudi Arabia, Iran agree to resume ties in China-brokered agreement

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Saudi Arabia and arch-rival Iran agreed to resume diplomatic relations and reopen embassies within two months following talks this week brokered by China, which maintains close relations with both countries.

The announcement was made Friday in a statement issued by all three countries.

“The agreement includes their affirmation of the respect for the sovereignty of states and the non-interference in internal affairs of states,” according to the statement published by the official Saudi Press Agency.

Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Iran in January 2016 following protests, including the storming of the Saudi embassy in Tehran, over Riyadh’s execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Shia Muslim cleric. He had been convicted in Saudi Arabia of what officials said were terror-related charges.

U.S. officials accused Iran of orchestrating missile and drone attacks in 2019 on Saudi facilities that disrupted the production of crude oil. Both sides have also engaged in a proxy war in neighboring Yemen.

As part of the China-brokered negotiations, Riyadh and Tehran agreed to implement security cooperation and trade agreements between both countries.

“The three countries expressed their keenness to exert all efforts toward enhancing regional and international peace and security,” they said in the statement.

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