Riyadh August 18 2023: Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in Jeddah on Friday in the highest level talks since the countries reconciled after years of bitter rivalry that destabilised the region.
The unscheduled meeting comes a day after Amirabdollahian arrived in the kingdom and declared ties between the countries were "on the right track" following talks with his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan.
Mohammed bin Salman, widely known as MbS, is the kingdom's de facto ruler, and has pushed to reorient Saudi foreign policy in recent years amid questions over its historically close relationship with the United States.
Iran's Press TV cited the Iranian delegation as saying the meeting had been "very good". Saudi state news agency SPA said they discussed international and regional developments.
Rivalry between Iran's revolutionary, Shi'ite Muslim leaders and Saudi Arabia's Sunni ruling family dominated Middle Eastern affairs for years as they competed for influence in wars and political struggles in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Bahrain.
However, China brokered a rapprochement in March leading to a resumption of full diplomatic relations, which Saudi Arabia had broken off in 2016 when protesters attacked its Tehran embassy over Riyadh's execution of a prominent Shi'ite cleric.
Prince Faisal visited Tehran in June and said he hoped Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi would visit the kingdom at the "appropriate time".