Iran says no development in Tehran-Riyadh talks, MP says top envoys to meet

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FILE PHOTO: Iranian Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian attends a press conference after his meeting with Lebanese Parliament Speaker Berri, in Beirut

DUBAI (Reuters) -Iran’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday there has been “no new development” since April in talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia, Iranian state news agency IRNA reported, shortly after a lawmaker said top diplomats of the rival countries will meet soon.

Earlier, an Iranian lawmaker told the semi-official Fars news agency that Iran’s Hossein Amirabdollahian will soon meet his Saudi counterpart Faisal bin Farhan in Iraq to discuss issues such as the reopening of embassies and the Yemen crisis.

When asked about the meeting, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said: “No new developments have taken place since the last round of talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia in Iraq”.

“There are a number of issues on the agenda such as how the talks will continue and at which level,” Khatibzadeh said.

Predominantly Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite Iran, locked in proxy conflicts across the Middle East, started direct talks last year to try to ease tensions between the regional foes.

A fifth round of talks between the rivals was held in April in Baghdad, which Tehran described as “positive”.

Riyadh severed ties with Tehran in 2016 after Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in the Iranian capital following the execution of a Shi’ite cleric in Saudi Arabia.

(Writing by Parisa Hafezi, Editing by William Maclean and Bill Berkrot)

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