Saudi foreign minister describes talks with Iran as ‘cordial’ and ‘exploratory’ – FT

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud speaks during a news conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia March 22, 2021. (Reuters photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan has said that talks with Iran had been “cordial,” describing the negotiations as “exploratory,” the Financial Times reported on Friday.

“We are serious about the talks,” bin Farhan told the FT in an interview. “For us it’s not that big a shift. We’ve always said we want to find a way to stabilize the region.”

Iran and Saudi Arabia, the leading Shia and Sunni Muslim powers in the Middle East, have been rivals for years, backing allies fighting proxy wars in Yemen, Syria and elsewhere. They cut diplomatic ties in 2016.

Three rounds of Saudi-Iranian talks were held in Iraq in the months before Iran’s new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, took office in August.

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