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Iran, Saudi held new round of talks in Iraq

Iran, Saudi held a new round of talks in Iraq

Two Iraqi officials told the Associated Press Monday that representatives from Saudi Arabia and Iran attended a new round of negotiations in Baghdad, Iraq’s capital.

The conference, according to the US agency, covered “the outstanding issues between the two nations, according to a previously agreed-upon plan, including diplomatic representation between the two countries,” according to an Iraqi official.

The person, who did not want to be identified, went on to say that the meeting “was not at a ministerial level,” but that the discussions were “good.”

Since conservative Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi took over the reins of power in Tehran in August, this visit is the first of its sort between the two sides. However, it was unclear how far the negotiations had progressed.

Since the initial direct negotiations between Riyadh and Tehran in early April, Iraq has played the role of mediator between the two parties, hosting multiple rounds of meetings in Baghdad.

Baghdad held a regional meeting last month that brought together Arab heads of state and key officials, including Iran’s and Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministers.

The meeting’s goal was to “de-escalate tensions” in the Middle East while also bolstering Baghdad’s new role as a mediator.

Last week, King Salman bin Abdulaziz spoke at the United Nations General Assembly, expressing his hope that the initial talks with Iran would yield “tangible results to build confidence and pave the way for achieving peoples’ aspirations in establishing cooperative relations based on adherence to international legitimacy’s principles and resolutions.”

“The talks will pave the way for achieving the aspirations of our peoples in establishing cooperative relations based on adherence to the principles and resolutions of international legitimacy, respect for sovereignty, non-interference in internal affairs, and their cessation of all forms of support for terrorist groups,” King Salman said, referring to Iran as a “neighboring country.”

“It is critical to rid the Middle East area of all weapons of mass destruction,” King Salman said. In this regard, the Kingdom supports international efforts aimed at stopping Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and it expresses grave worry over Iranian actions that violate its pledges and contradict what Iran has always claimed about its nuclear program as peaceful.

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