US, France cautiously welcome renewal of Iran-Saudi diplomatic relations

Leaders in the US and France have reacted with cautious optimism to the surprise announcement that Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed on Friday to restore ties and reopen diplomatic missions in a deal brokered by China.

The White House welcomed the deal, but said it remains to be seen whether the Iranians will "meet their obligations".

France also saluted the move, saying it was in favour of dialogue, but urged Iran to "renounce its destabilising actions".

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the announcement and said he remains ready to "use his good offices to further advance regional dialogue".

"Good neighbourly relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia are essential for the stability of the Gulf region," he said through his spokesman.

Friday's announcement followed five days of previously unannounced talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia in Beijing and several rounds of dialogue in Iraq and Oman.

(with AFP and REUTERS)

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