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Saudi Arabia plans for fresh round of talks with Iran


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Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said on Saturday the kingdom was looking to schedule a fifth round of direct talks with rival Iran despite a "lack of substantive progress" so far, and urged Tehran to change its behaviour in the region.

Saudi Arabia and Iran, which cut ties in 2016, launched talks last year hosted by Iraq as global powers sought to salvage a nuclear pact with Tehran, which Gulf states deemed flawed.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said if the 2015 nuclear pact was revived that should be "a starting point, not an end point" in order to address regional concerns, and that Riyadh remained interested in talks with Iran.

Earlier this month, Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi said Tehran was ready for more talks if Riyadh was willing to hold them in an atmosphere of mutual understanding and respect.

Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran are vying for influence in a rivalry that has played out across the region.
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