SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iran said on Monday Tehran always welcomed dialogue with Saudi Arabia, one day after a report of direct talks took place in Baghdad between the two regional rivals.
Three officials told Financial Times that senior Saudi and Iranian officials held direct talks in Baghdad on April 9 in a bid to repair relations between the two countries.
The first round of talks included discussions about the Houthi attacks and that they were positive, according to the FT.
“We have seen media reports about talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia, although the reports sometimes had contradictory quotes,” spokesman of the Iranian foreign ministry Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a weekly news conference, Reuters reported.
“What is important is that the Islamic Republic of Iran has always welcomed dialogue with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and considers it in the interest of the people of the two countries, as well as peace and stability in the region,” he added.
One of the officials told the FT that the Saudi delegation was led by intelligence chief Khalid bin Ali al-Humaidan and that another round of talks had been scheduled for next week.
The FT reported that Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi facilitated the process, who visited Saudi Arabia earlier this month.
Saudi Arabia and Iran severed diplomatic ties in 2016 and have been engaged in several proxy wars in the region as they vie for influence.