Iranian and Saudi foreign ministers meet in Geneva

The Cradle, December 13, 2023 —

The two Islamic nations have seen their relationship blossom over the past year since the signing of a Chinese-brokered rapprochement.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian met with his Saudi Arabian counterpart, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, in Geneva on 13 December to discuss both the situation in Gaza and bilateral relations, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reports. 

“The Saudi and Iranian counterparts discussed the importance of the international community in playing its role to achieve a ceasefire and protect civilians in the besieged Palestinian enclave,” the press release read. 

Amir-Abdollahian said that he believes Iran and Saudi Arabia are important and influential countries in the region, and that Tehran is ready to strengthen relations with Riyadh in various fields.

“We are witnessing a positive trend in bilateral relations, and we welcome the development of relations between the two countries,” Saudi Arabia’s Farhan said. “Fortunately, contacts and talks are continuing in other areas, and the ministers of economy have also started their talks and contacts,” he added in regard to the further development of political relations between the two countries.

The report also mentions that the two sides also discussed ways of enhancing bilateral cooperation. 

The two Muslim nations held talks in November to further strengthen economic and financial ties after Iran’s Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Iran, Mohammad Aram, met with his counterparts in Riyadh to discuss the expansion of forex relations.  

The Iranian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Alireza Enayati, said that the visit of the Central Bank deputy governor to Saudi Arabia lays the path for expanding the now limited trade between Tehran and Riyadh even further.  

But in November, reports emerged that Saudi Arabia had offered to invest in Iran’s economy if Tehran were to forestall regional allies from interfering in the Gaza war on the side of the Palestinian resistance.

Amir-Abdollahian said in October that the Islamic Republic welcomes a new chapter in relations with Saudi Arabia, saying that new ties should serve the interests of the Islamic world and counteract normalization with Israel.

“We are witnessing the return of Iranian-Saudi relations … Our perspective is that these relations should be deep and extensive, built on the interests of the Islamic world, to thwart the enemy and prevent normalization of relations with the Zionist entity,” he said during his address to the 37th International Conference on Islamic Unity in Tehran.

In August of this year, Farhan emphasized “the importance of enhancing the scope of cooperation” with Iran and “continuing consultations” during the upcoming stages.

Iran and Saudi Arabia signed a Chinese-brokered deal in March this year that set to put aside years of a less-than-ideal relationship and to restore diplomatic relations. 

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