Saudi Arabia reportedly invited Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi for an official state visit after the two sides agreed to restore relations in a peace deal brokered by China.
for every BBCThe invitation came in a message from Saudi King Salman, but this has not been confirmed by Saudi officials.
Mohammad Jamshidi, deputy chief of staff for political affairs, wrote on Twitter that Salman had invited Iranian President Raisi to Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.
He added that Salman “called for a strong economy [and] regional cooperation.”
“Raeisi welcomed the invitation and confirmed Iran’s readiness to expand cooperation,” he said.
The high-level Iranian official visit to the United Arab Emirates, days after Tehran agreed to restore diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia
Other details of a possible meeting between the leaders of the two countries remain unclear. This development comes less than two weeks after Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed to restore diplomatic relations and reopen the two embassies after more than seven years of hostility.
The agreement, concluded in Beijing amid a ceremonial National People’s Congress, marks a major diplomatic victory for China as Gulf Arab states see the United States withdraw from the broader Middle East.
Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran in 2016 after protesters overran Saudi diplomatic posts there. The kingdom had executed a prominent Shiite cleric along with 46 others days earlier, sparking demonstrations.
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This came as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was then a deputy, began his rise to power. King Salman’s son, Prince Mohammed, had likened Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to Nazi Germany’s President Adolf Hitler, and threatened to strike Iran.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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