A Saudi foreign ministry official said on Friday that talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran aim to reduce regional tensions but that it was too early to judge the outcome and Riyadh wanted to see “verifiable deeds”.
“We hope they prove successful, but it is too early, and premature, to reach any definitive conclusions,” Ambassador Rayed Krimly, head of policy planning at the ministry, told Reuters.
“Our evaluation will be based on verifiable deeds, and not proclamations.”
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, had said during televised interview last month that Iran is a “neighboring country,” adding: “All what we ask for is to have a good and distinguished relationship with Iran.”
“We do not want the situation with Iran to be difficult. On the contrary, we want it to prosper and grow as we have Saudi interests in Iran, and they have Iranian interests in Saudi Arabia, which is to drive prosperity and growth in the region and the entire world,” he stressed.
“The problem that we have lies with certain negative behaviors they have, whether in terms of their nuclear program, their support of illegal militias in some countries in the region, or their ballistic missile program,” he explained.
“We are working now with our partners in the region and the world to find solutions for these problems. We really hope we would overcome them and build a good and positive relationship with Iran that would benefit all parties,” said Crown Prince Mohammed.
Iran was quick to welcome the Crown Prince’s remarks.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said at the time that Iran was ready to hold talks with Saudi Arabia on any level and to tackle all issues.
“With constructive views and dialogue-based approach, Iran and Saudi Arabia, as two important countries in the region and the Islamic world, can enter a new chapter of interaction and cooperation to achieve peace, stability and regional development by overcoming differences,” Khatibzadeh stated.