Saudi Arabia and Iran FMs Meet; Iran Appoints First UAE Ambassador Since 2016

Saudi Arabia and Iran FMs Meet; Iran Appoints First UAE Ambassador Since 2016

The Saudi and Iranian foreign ministers have met for the first time in seven years, weeks after the two countries came to an agreement to restore diplomatic relations.

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and Iran’s Hossein Amir-Abdollahian met in Beijing to discuss the reopening of embassies, the appointment of ambassadors and a planned visit to Saudi Arabia by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. The ministers also discussed resuming flights between the two countries and issuing travel visas for each others’ citizens.

Meanwhile, Iran on April 4 appointed an ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the first time since 2016. The decision came amid a realignment of relations between Gulf states and Iran.

The newly appointed ambassador of Iran, Reza Ameri had served as the Director General of the Iranian expatriates’ office in the Foreign Ministry. The appointment comes after the UAE last August moved to upgrade ties and said it was returning its ambassador to Tehran.

The UAE downgraded relations with Iran after Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran in January 2016 after Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran following Riyadh’s execution of a prominent Shiite cleric. The UAE, which has business and trade ties with Iran stretching back more than a century, started re-engaging with Tehran in 2019 after attacks in Gulf waters and on Saudi energy sites.