19:47 GMT24 June 2021
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    The official also said that it was too early to judge the outcome of the talks and that Saudi Arabia wanted to see "verifiable deeds".

    Head of policy planning at the Saudi foreign ministry Ambassador Rayed Krimly has confirmed that Riyadh and Tehran were holding direct talks.

    "We hope they prove successful, but it is too early, and premature, to reach any definitive conclusions," Krimly told Reuters.

    Earlier media reports suggested senior Saudi Arabian and Iranian officials engaged in direct talks in Baghdad on 9 April seeking to resuscitate relations, with the Financial Times citing unnamed sources as saying the talks were "the first significant political discussions between the two nations" since ties between the two influential regional powers were frozen in 2016.

    Later, Iraq’s president Barham Salih that his country indeed hosted direct talks between representatives of the two sides "more than once".

    Riyadh broke off diplomatic relations with Tehran in 2016 after Saudi Arabian diplomatic facilities in Iran were attacked by people protesting against the execution of a Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr by Saudi authorities.

    diplomacy, talks, Saudi Arabia, Iran
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