Iran thanked Saudi Arabia on Tuesday for its handling of the Haj operations, saying it opened the way for negotiations between the regional rivals.
“We thank Saudi Arabia... for adopting a new approach in dealing with Iranian pilgrims,” said Ali Ghazi-Askar, the head of the Haj organisation in Tehran, according to the state broadcaster.
Some 86,000 Iranian pilgrims took part last week in the Haj. They were unable to attend in 2016 after talks collapsed over security concerns.
Iran had been highly critical of Saudi Arabia's organisation efforts in the wake of a stampede during the 2015 Haj that killed up to 2,300 people, including hundreds of Iranians.
“There are always differences arising among countries but the important thing is for the parties to resolve differences through dialogue and negotiation,” said Ghazi-Askar, according to the ISNA news agency.
“Right now, after holding a successful Haj, it is a good time for both parties to negotiate to resolve their bilateral issues in other fields.”
The two countries severed diplomatic relations after Iranians stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran in January 2016 in response to Riyadh's execution of a prominent Shia cleric.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif remained circumspect, however, saying he had yet to see “a clear prospect for change” in the relationship.
“If such a development occurs in the Saudis' mentality, it will definitely be a positive development and will be met with Iran's positive reaction,” he told Khabar Online newspaper.. Tags: #Muslim-community #Saudi #
South Korean President Moon Jae-In hopes to “normalise” ties with giant neighbour China on his first state visit to the country this week,... More
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that recognising Jerusalem as his country's capital "makes peace possible", aft... More
After a year marked by devastating cyber attacks and breaches, online attackers are expected to become even more destructive in 2018, security researc... More
GENEVA: Talks aimed at ending the war in Syria restarted on Tuesday with the government enforcing its will, warning the United Nations it would not to... More
KARANGASEM, Indonesia (AP) An erupting volcano with a deadly history on Indonesia's Bali, one of the world's most popular resort islands... More
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. general in Afghanistan said on Tuesday that he had not seen a change in Pakistan’s support for militan... More
US President Donald Trump clashed with Democratic leaders in dramatic fashion on Tuesday, heaping pressure on Congress to craft a compromise on federa... More
Pope Francis spread a message of forgiveness in a historic open-air mass before a sea of worshippers in Yangon on Wednesday, during a visit to conflic... More
Riding a horse or nailing an archery target is tough at the best of times it's even harder when you're wearing a niqab. But that isn't ... More