Saudi Arabia and Iran have reportedly agreed to hold the first public meeting at the level of foreign ministers in Baghdad following rounds of closed reconciliation meetings. 

Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein told Erbil-based media network Rudaw on Saturday that Baghdad hosted five rounds of talks between Tehran and Riyadh “between intelligence and security officials,” adding that this upcoming round of negotiations will be public. 

He did not elaborate when the meeting will take place, adding that “The Saudi crown prince asked us to host the meeting of the Saudi foreign minister with his Iranian counterpart in Baghdad.”

On July 21, Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Saudi Arabia has shown readiness to advance the bilateral talks from security issues to the political phase. "Last week we received a message from Iraqi foreign minister [Fuad Hussein] saying that the Saudi side is ready to move the talks from a security phase to a political and public one.” 

"We also expressed our readiness to continue talks at the political level so that it leads to the return of Iran-Saudi Arabia ties to the normal level," he added.

Late in June, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi traveled to Iran and met with President Ebrahim Raisi after a visit to Saudi Arabia and meeting with the kingdom’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman aimed at jumpstarting stalled talks between Tehran and Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia cut ties with Iran in 2016 when mobs attacked its embassy in Tehran after Riyadh executed 47 dissidents including the leading Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

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