UN Chief Hails Resumption of Iran-Saudi Ties as Turning Point
TEHRAN (FNA)- United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres lauded the agreement reached between Iran and Saudi Arabia on restoration of diplomatic ties after seven years of estrangement, and termed it as a turning point that marks the beginning of a new era of constructive interactions in the Middle East.
Guterres made the remarks in a telephone conversation with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian.
"This resumption of relations is praiseworthy and a turning-point in the region," Guterres said.
After several days of intensive negotiations hosted by Beijing, Tehran and Riyadh clinched a deal on March 10 to restore diplomatic relations and reopen embassies.
The meeting between Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud on April 6 marked the first such meeting in seven years and emphasized the need to implement the China-brokered agreement.
The detente has been lauded by both sides as having the potential to ease tensions in the Middle East region.
Diplomatic relations between Riyadh and Tehran were severed by Saudi Arabia in January 2016 after Iranian protesters, angered by the execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr by the Saudi government, stormed its embassy in Tehran.
Elsewhere in the conversation, Guterres went on to point to a United Nations-organized conference on Afghanistan in the Qatari capital of Doha in early May, stating that all participants in the two-day meeting reached a consensus on the need to form an inclusive government with the participation of all ethnic groups in Afghanistan, fight against terrorism, support and empower of Afghanistan's economy, fight against drug production and trafficking, as well as securing the right to education for girls and women in the country.
The UN chief once again praised Iran's hosting a remarkable population of Afghan refugees, underscoring the need for international assistance to the country in this regard.
He also expressed hope that the Ukraine war would come to an end as soon as possible, referring to a peace initiative developed by a group of African heads of state that could contribute to a solution to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and the meeting of senior officials in Istanbul to extend a deal allowing the safe Black Sea export of Ukraine grain and agricultural fertilizers.
The secretary-general of the United Nations also stressed the need for a sustainable ceasefire in Yemen, and praised Iran’s important and constructive role in the region.
Amir Abdollahian, for his part, described as positive the closed-door summit on Afghanistan in Qatar, stating that Iran has been hosting millions of Afghan refugees and assisting them with various services for decades.
Management of such a high number of refugees requires international attention and support, the Iranian foreign minister pointed out.
The top Iranian diplomat also expressed hope that the war and siege in Yemen would come to a close as soon as possible.
Amir-Abdollahian continued to underline Iran's vehement opposition to Ukraine war, expressing hope that the involved parties would return to the path of dialogue, end the war and establish peace.
The Iranian foreign minister and the UN chief also discussed the course of talks on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and the removal of sanctions, besides Tehran’s cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency to resolve remaining misunderstandings.