The secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, will travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Thursday to hold talks with senior Emirati officials amid warming ties between Iran and its Persian Gulf neighbors.
A report by Nour News, a website that is close to the SNSC, on Wednesday said the visit comes upon an invitation by UAE’s National Security Adviser Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed al-Nahyan.
The report said Shamkhani will hold talks with Sheikh Tahnoon as well as other senior Emirati officials to discuss bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual concern. Senior economic, banking and security officials will accompany Shamkhani.
The UAE reinstated its ambassador to Iran in September, more than six years after ties between the two sides were downgraded following the storming of the Saudi embassy in Tehran by protesters over the execution of prominent Shia cleric, Sheikh Baqir al-Nimr, by the Saudi regime.
The top Iranian security official’s visit to Abu Dhabi comes less than a week after Iran and Saudi Arabia announced the normalization of their ties following several days of hectic deliberations between Shamkhani and his Saudi Arabian counterpart in Beijing, brokered by China.
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The deal, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kan’ani said during his Monday presser, will lead to the restoration of diplomatic ties between Tehran and Riyadh and the re-opening of respective diplomatic missions within two months.
The agreement has received a wide welcome from the international community and triggered speculation over potential normalization deals between Iran and other Arab countries who had followed in Riyadh’s footsteps in 2016 to downgrade or sever relations with Iran.
Kan’ani on Monday confirmed that there’s potential for similar deals between Iran and other regional countries, notably Bahrain and Jordan.
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Kan’ani said the Iran-Saudi deal can help boost regional cooperation to promote peace and stability in the region.
“This deal has a favorable impact on cooperation and convergence in the region to help strengthen peace, stability and security there, particularly in the strategic region of the Persian Gulf,” he said.
The spokesman also said preparations are being made for a meeting between Iranian and Saudi foreign ministers in the near future.