The Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Tajikistan took part in the celebrations of Navruz – the new year of the Persian-speaking peoples – at the Iranian Embassy in Dushanbe. This happened two weeks after Riyadh and Tehran agreed to restore diplomatic ties, Iranian news agency IRNA reported.
During the holiday, the Saudi envoy to Dushanbe, Walid al-Reshaidan, met with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Taqi Saberi. The pictures posted on the IRNA Telegram channel show the two diplomats shaking hands and hugging each other.
When the celebrations on the occasion of Navruz took place in the Iranian diplomatic mission, the agency does not specify. The Iranian embassy in Dushanbe said on March 21 that it had held a holiday in honor of Navruz, which was also attended by foreign diplomats.
Saudi Arabia and Iran, whose confrontation has long been called the Middle East “cold war”, agreed on March 10 to resume diplomatic relations, interrupted in 2016, a statement was made by the foreign ministries of the two countries and China, which acted as an intermediary in the deal. “The three powers announce an agreement between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran on the resumption of diplomatic relations between them and the reopening of embassies and missions within no more than two months,” the statement said.
Diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran were severed in 2016 by Riyadh following the execution in Saudi Arabia of Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, which provoked attacks on the Saudi embassy in Iran.
On March 23, Foreign Ministers of Saudi Arabia and Iran Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and Hossein Amir Abdollahian discussed by phone the normalization of relations between the countries. The Saudi press agency reported that at the beginning of the conversation, the parties exchanged congratulations on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan.
“The ministers agreed to hold a meeting in the near future to discuss the process of preparing for the opening of the embassies and consulates of the two countries,” the agency said in a statement.
When and where the meeting will take place is still unknown.