Saudi Arabia: King Salman tells Iran to change ‘negative’ behaviour


Saudi plans for fresh round of talks with Iran, says foreign minister

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, on Saturday, urged Tehran to change its behaviour in the region while saying that the kingdom was looking to schedule a fifth round of direct talks with Iran despite a “lack of substantive progress” so far.

Saudi Arabia and Iran, which cut ties in 2016, launched talks last year hosted by Iraq as global powers sought to salvage a nuclear pact with Tehran, which Gulf states deemed flawed for not tackling Iran’s missiles programme and network of proxies.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said if the 2015 nuclear pact was revived that should be “a starting point, not an end point” in order to address regional concerns, and that Riyadh remained interested in talks with Iran.

“That will indeed require from our neighbours in Iran a serious desire to address the underlying issues that exist … We hope that there is a serious desire to find a new modus operandi,” he said.

“If we see substantive progress on those files, then yes rapprochement is possible. So far, we have not seen that,” he told the Munich Security Conference.

Earlier this month, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi said Tehran was ready for more talks if Riyadh was willing to hold them in an atmosphere of mutual understanding and respect.

Prince Faisal said Iran continued to provide the Houthis with ballistic missile and drone parts as well as conventional weapons, a charge both Tehran and the group deny.

“This does not contribute to finding a path to settle that conflict, but we are committed and we are supportive of the United Nations representative,” he said, referring to stalled UN-led efforts for a ceasefire in Yemen.

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