Saudi foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud. FILE

Saudi foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud

Saudi Foreign Minister Says Some Progress In Talks With Iran But Not Enough

5/24/2022

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said on Tuesday that there had been some progress in talks with Iran but "not enough" and that the kingdom's hands remain outstretched to Tehran.

Sunni power Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite Iran, which are locked in proxy conflicts across the Middle East, have held five rounds of talks hosted by Baghdad.

"We have made some progress but not enough," Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud told a World Economic Forum panel. “Our hands are stretched out.”

"We continue to encourage our neighbors in Iran to lean into what can be a very, very important sea change in our region," he said, adding that a "new era of cooperation" could deliver benefits for all.

Saudi Arabia and Iran, which severed ties in 2016, launched direct talks last year as global powers moved to salvage a 2015 nuclear pact with Iran, which Gulf Arab states had seen as flawed for not addressing regional security concerns.

The nuclear talks have been on hold since March.

Prince Faisal said if a deal is reached it would "be potentially a good thing if it's a good deal" and reiterated Riyadh's stance that Tehran's regional activities should be addressed.

Asked whether Riyadh was pleased by elections in Lebanon in which Iran-backed Hezbollah and its allies lost their parliamentary majority, the prince said: "This may be a positive step, but it's too early to tell."

Report by Reuters

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