Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan revealed, on Sunday evening, October 3, 2021, that Riyadh held a fourth round of direct negotiations with Iran, on September 21, and is still in its “exploratory” stage, during a press conference in The Saudi capital with the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union, Josep Borrell.
According to the Saudi “Al Arabiya” channel, this round of negotiations is the first since Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi took office last August.
without many details
The Saudi foreign minister stated in this regard, “As for the negotiations with the Iranian side, the fourth round actually took place on September 21.”
While he did not specify the venue for this round, Iraq hosted previous rounds of negotiations between its two neighbors.
He also added, “These talks are still in their exploratory stage,” and he added, “We hope that they will lay a basis for addressing the outstanding issues between the two parties, and we will seek and work to achieve this,” without details.
Meanwhile, Bin Farhan did not mention details about the level of representation of the two sides, nor the outcome of these negotiations.
Western and regional countries, led by Saudi Arabia, usually accuse Iran of having an expansionist agenda in the region and of interfering in the internal affairs of Arab countries, including Yemen and Lebanon, which Tehran denies and says that it is committed to good neighborly relations.
In his speech via video call, during the meetings of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, on September 22, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz said that Iran is “a neighboring country, and we hope that our initial talks with it will lead to tangible confidence-building results.” .
The Iranian ambassador to Baghdad, Iraj Masjedi, said at the end of last August: “We held three rounds of talks with Saudi Arabia in Baghdad, thanks to the cooperation of the Iraqi government, and the fourth round will take place after the formation of the new Iranian government.”
And last May, Iraqi President Barham Salih announced that his country had hosted more than one round of dialogue between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
While this was the first time it was officially revealed that direct official talks between the two countries had been held since the severing of relations between them in 2016, following the attack by protesters on the Saudi embassy and consulate in Iran; denouncing Riyadh’s execution of the Shiite cleric, “Nimr al-Nimr”; on charges of terrorism.