DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amirabdollahian have issued a joint statement at the end of their meeting in Beijing on Thursday.

This was the first formal meeting of the countries’ most senior diplomats in more than seven years.

The joint statement mentioned, among other things, the resumption of flights between the two countries and the facilitation of granting of visas for citizens including Umrah visas; the start of arrangements to reopen their respective embassies and consulates Jeddah and Mashhad; as well as the resumption of visits by officials and private sector delegations.

Videos posted on Saudi state TV Al-Ekhbariya’s Twitter account earlier showed the two diplomats standing side-by-side before greeting each other and shaking hands before their meeting. Subsequent footages showed the countries’ delegations getting ready for their discussions.

Both countries in their statement expressed appreciation to the Chinese government for hosting the meeting, and also thanked the Swiss government for ‘its endeavors and appreciated efforts to take care of Saudi and Iranian interests.’

Saudi Arabia and Iran early last month agreed to reestablish diplomatic relations and reopen their embassies following years of uneasy tension between the two countries, in talks brokered by China.

Riyadh and Tehran also agreed to activate the security cooperation agreement signed in 2001 and the trade, economy and investment agreement signed in 1998, according to the trilateral statement issued on March 10.

The agreement to renew ties was signed by Saudi Arabia’s national security adviser Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban and Iran’s top security official Ali Shamkhani.