DECEMBER 9, 2022
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Raeisi, Saudi crown prince meet in first encounter since rapprochement

Raeisi, Saudi crown prince meet in first encounter since rapprochement

Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have met for the first time since the two countries mended their strained ties as part of an agreement reached in Beijing earlier this year.

Raeisi and bin Salman met in the Saudi capital of Riyadh on Saturday as they were preparing to attend a joint summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Arab League to discuss the conflict in Palestine.

The official IRNA news agency said Raeisi and bin Salman had agreed in the meeting that Iran and Saudi Arabia should expand their bilateral and regional cooperation. The two had also agreed to have detailed discussions in the future about issues of bilateral interest and regional developments.

The meeting was the most high-profile encounter between Iranian and Saudi Arabian officials since the two regional powers decided to set aside differences and resume diplomatic relations as part of an agreement mediated by China in March.

Iran and Saudi Arabia then moved to reopen their respective embassies while exchanging trade delegations to deepen their economic cooperation.

Raeisi met with other regional leaders on the sidelines of the joint OIC-Arab League summit in Riyadh on Saturday.

Better ties with 'friendly Egypt'

The president said during a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi that Iran seeks to engage in stronger ties with Egypt.

“Iran sees no obstacle in expansion of relations with the friendly country of Egypt,” said Raiei in the meeting where Sisi also declared that his country is determined to build “realistic relations” with Iran.

Raeisi and his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad also emphasized in a meeting on Saturday that resistance is the only way to determine the fate of Gaza and its freedom struggle against the Zionist regime.

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