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Iran president welcomes Saudi king’s visit invitation

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz has invited Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to visit Riyadh, an Iranian official says.

March 20, 2023
20 March 2023

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has received an invitation from Saudi Arabia’s King Salman to visit the kingdom after the long-time regional rivals agreed to restore ties and re-open embassies.

Mohammad Jamshidi, the Iranian president’s deputy chief of staff, tweeted on Sunday that Raisi welcomed and accepted the invitation.

Raisi and King Salman will discuss the “the strengthening of economic and regional co-operation” during their talks in Riyadh, Jamshidi wrote.

A date for the visit was not given.

Shi’ite-majority Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia agreed this month to re-establish diplomatic ties after seven years of hostility. 

Both countries vie for political and military influence in the region.

As a first step in the rapprochement, which was brokered by China, a meeting of the Saudi and Iranian foreign ministers is expected to take place soon.

The deal includes an agreement to resume diplomatic ties and re-open embassies and missions within the next two months.

Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran following an attack by Iranian activists on the Saudi embassy in Tehran in 2016.

Both countries have faced off in regional proxy conflicts, including in Syria and Yemen.

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