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A regional conference that brings together Saudi Arabia and Iran

French President Emmanuel Macron and Jordan’s King Abdullah II called for “a new regional conference to be convened as soon as possible on the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and Iran.”

The French presidency said, in a statement, that during a meeting at the Elysee Palace, Macron and King Abdullah discussed regional issues, especially the Iranian nuclear file, the fight against terrorism and the situation in Iraq.

She also added that “in light of the current regional situation, they agreed on the necessity of holding a new conference similar to the Baghdad conference in August 2021, as soon as possible.”

The French presidency stated that this meeting constitutes “a new stage in the strategic partnership between the two countries and will allow the continuation of joint action in the face of security and economic challenges.”

On Wednesday, Macron and his wife received the King of Jordan, the Queen and Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah in the main courtyard of the presidential palace, in front of a crowd of photographers.

Saudi Arabia and Iran also held 5 rounds of talks in Baghdad on the normalization of severed relations and ways to resolve differences, amid expectations that the Iraqi capital will host the sixth round of this dialogue soon.

Relations between the two countries were also severed in 2016, after protesters stormed the Saudi embassy and consulate in Iran, in protest of Riyadh’s execution of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr after he was convicted of terrorism charges.

There are also deep differences between Tehran and Riyadh in many files, including the Yemeni file, where Saudi Arabia leads a military coalition to support government forces in the face of Iran-backed “Ansar Allah”, which has controlled the capital, Sanaa, since September 2014.

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