Saudi Arabia and Iran hold high-level meeting in China

After agreeing to a deal brokered by China to explore restoring diplomatic ties, Saudi Arabia and Iran have taken a major step towards rapprochement by holding a meeting between their foreign ministers in Beijing, Reuters reports. It was the first official high-level meeting in seven years.

Saudi Arabia and Iran also agreed to restore flights between their two countries, and committed to resuming government and private-sector visits, the Wall Street Journal reports. Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi has also accepted an invitation from Saudi Arabia to visit the country in the coming months in what would be his first trip to the country.

The meeting is another move in a series by Saudi Arabia as it continues a diplomatic blitz to raise its profile on the world stage. Using its wealth as a foreign policy tool, Saudi Arabia assured the IMF it would provide $2 billion to Pakistan to help it avoid default, and its Public Investment Fund disclosed investments in dozens of US venture capital and buyout firms—an indication the kingdom is not looking to sever ties with the US despite its new relationship with China.

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