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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

First group of pilgrims from Iran head to Saudi Arabia in nine years

Saudi Ambassador to Tehran Abdullah bin Saud Alanazi was present at the airport along with several Iranian officials to send off the first group of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.

The first group of pilgrims from Iran headed to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah in nine years. The Iranian State Media Group reported on Monday.

“The first group of Umrah pilgrims departed Iran for Saudi Arabia through the Imam Khomeini airport in Tehran,” state news agency IRNA reported.

The batch marks the first group of Iranian pilgrims heading to Saudi Arabia to perform a minor pilgrimage after Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed to resume diplomatic relations in a deal brokered by China last year.

Hajj was open for Iranians last year but limitations persisted on them travelling to Saudi Arabia for Umrah.

Diplomatic relations between the two countries when pro-regime protestors attacked its embassies in Tehran and Mashhad.

Saudi Ambassador to Tehran Abdullah bin Saud Alanazi was present at the airport along with several Iranian officials to send off the first group of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia. 85 Iranian pilgrims have traveled to Saudi Arabia in the first batch.

In a momentous development, Iran has reopened its embassy in Saudi Arabia, marking a significant milestone in the relationship between the two regional rivals. The decision to restore diplomatic ties comes seven years after the severance of relations and is seen as a positive step towards greater cooperation.

Read more: Iran and Saudi Arabia reopen embassies after seven-year hiatus

After years of strained relations, representatives from the Iranian and Saudi Arabian foreign ministries gathered in Riyadh for the embassy reopening ceremony. This move underscores the commitment of both nations to fostering a new era of cooperation. The presence of officials from both sides signifies a willingness to address past grievances and work towards a more constructive relationship.

The restoration of diplomatic ties was made possible through a deal brokered by China, highlighting its increasing influence in the region. China’s role as a mediator demonstrates its growing importance in global affairs and its ability to facilitate dialogue between conflicting parties. This development underscores the significance of multilateral diplomacy in resolving complex regional issues.