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Kuwait names first ambassador to Iran in over six years

An over-all view of Tehran city, in Tehran, Iran June 12, 2020. Ali Khara/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS/File Photo

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KUWAIT, Aug 14 (Reuters) – Kuwait has appointed an ambassador to Iran, both countries said on Sunday, a lot more than six years after recalling its top envoy to Tehran in solidarity with Saudi Arabia after it severed ties with the Islamic Republic in 2016.

Ambassador Bader Abdullah Al-Munaikh handed his credentials to Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in Tehran on Saturday, Iran’s foreign ministry said on its website. Kuwait’s foreign ministry confirmed Munaikh was appointed envoy to Iran.

Iran already comes with an ambassador in Kuwait.

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The move comes as Sunni Muslim powerhouse Saudi Arabia works to boost ties with Shi’ite Iran, with which it’s been locked in a rivalry which has played out across conflicts in your community.

Riyadh broke off ties with Tehran in January 2016 after Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Iran after Saudi Arabia executed a prominent Shi’ite cleric.

Kuwait recalled its envoy to Iran as other Gulf Arab states downgraded ties to rally behind Riyadh. Kuwait has maintained relatively good relations with Tehran under a foreign policy balancing ties using its larger neighbours.

The United Arab Emirates is attempting to send an ambassador to Iran since it seeks to rebuild bridges following years of animosity, a senior Emirati official said last month. read more

Saudi Arabia launched direct talks with Iran this past year. The kingdom’s foreign minister has said there’s been some progress in five rounds of Iraq-mediated discussions, but “insufficient”.

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Reporting by Ahmed Hagagy in Kuwait and Parisa Hafezi in Dubai; Writing by Ghaida Ghantous; Editing by Nick Macfie

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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