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Iran, Saudi Arabia hold new talks to normalize relations: Reuters

Iran, Saudi Arabia hold new talks to normalize relations : Reuters

Iran and Saudi Arabia held on Monday the fifth round of “good” discussions in Baghdad last Thursday, according to Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh.

Last year, Saudi Arabia and Iran initiated direct discussions to attempt to defuse tensions.

However, the talks were suspended in March without explanation after Saudi Arabia executed 81 men in the country’s largest mass execution in decades.

The executions were condemned in Tehran.

During a weekly news briefing, Khatibzadeh said, “The fifth round of discussions between Saudi Arabia and Iran took place in Iraq, and the meetings were positive and fruitful.”

Baghdad will host the second round of talks, according to Iraqi Foreign Minister Fouad Hussein.

“Initial talks between Tehran and Riyadh are ongoing to send 40,000 Iranian pilgrims to Mecca for the Hajj this year,” Khatibzadeh added.

In 2016, after Iranian demonstrators stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran following the death of a Shiite cleric in Saudi Arabia, Riyadh severed ties with Tehran.

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