Top adviser to Iran's Khamenei calls for reopening of Saudi, Iranian embassies

Top adviser to Iran's Khamenei calls for reopening of Saudi, Iranian embassies
An Iranian official has said his country and Saudi Arabia must reopen their embassies, in a step further toward rapprochement between the rival states
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Velayati called for the reopening of both countries' embassies [Getty/archive]

Iran and Saudi Arabia must reopen their embassies to facilitate a rapprochement between the two regional rivals, a top adviser to Iran's supreme leader said on Wednesday, amid moves by Tehran and Riyadh to revive ties.

Iran - which has been rocked by weeks of anti-government protests - and Saudi Arabia, the leading Shia and Sunni Muslim powers in the Middle East, severed ties in 2016 with both parties backing opposite sides in proxy wars across the region, from Yemen to Syria and elsewhere.

"We are neighbours of Saudi Arabia and we must coexist. The embassies of the two countries should reopen in order to solve our problems in a better way," said Ali Akbar Velayati, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency.

Last year, Tehran and Riyadh began direct talks in an attempt to improve relations. Baghdad has hosted five rounds of talks so far, the last in April.

(Reuters & The New Arab)