Iran says Saudi ready to move reconciliation talks to higher level

" target="_blank" >720×300

TEHRAN: Iran and Saudi Arabia are ready to move reconciliation talks to a higher level, more than a year after they began and six years after the two rivals severed relations, Iran’s foreign minister says.

Since April last year Iraq has hosted five rounds of talks between Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shia-majority Iran, which support opposing sides in various conflicts around the region.

“Progress has been made in these negotiations,” Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said in an interview with Iran’s state broadcaster on Thursday night.

" target="_blank" >720×300

He added that last week Iran had received a message from Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein who said “the Saudi side is ready to move the talks to the political and public level.”

Iran’s top diplomat noted that previous rounds had mainly been at the level of security officials.

“We announced our readiness for the talks to enter the political stage,” he said.

In 2016, Iranian protesters attacked Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran after the kingdom executed Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr. Riyadh responded by cutting ties with Tehran.

" target="_blank" >720×300