Iran-Saudi Arabia talks held in Riyadh

Iran-Saudi Arabia talks held in Riyadh
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RIYADH (APP/AFP) - A Saudi minister held talks with an Iranian delegation about the possibility of Iranian pilgrims rejoining the annual hajj despite ruptured ties between the two countries, state media reported late Thursday.

Shiite-dominated Iran and Sunni-majority Saudi Arabia have had no diplomatic ties since early last year.

The kingdom's minister in charge of pilgrimages, Mohammed Bentin, discussed with the Iranians "arrangements concerning participation of the Iranian faithful in this year's hajj," the official Saudi Press Agency said.

It did not give more details but said the meeting took place on Thursday in the Red Sea city of Jeddah.

SPA said the talks occurred in the context of meetings organised by the pilgrimage ministry with various countries about accommodation and other logistics for the hajj, which will take place around early September.

For the first time in nearly three decades, Iran's 64,000 pilgrims did not attend last year's hajj after the regional rivals failed to agree on security and logistics.

Middle East