Zarif, Jubeir shake hands on OIC meeting sidelines

News ID: 4048039 -
TEHRAN, Aug. 02 (MNA) – Iran’s FM Zarif and his Saudi counterpart Adel Al-Jubeir shook hands on the sidelines of the OIC’s extraordinary meeting in Turkey in a move that may promise easing tensions between the two states.

The warm greeting, which came as a surprise to many present reporters due to the current tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia, was initiated by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir who approached Zarif with the intention to shake hands. After an embrace, the two top diplomats held talks with each other.

The warm greeting while surprised onlookers was deemed a "diplomatic norm" by the Iranian foreing minister. He said the reason for the handshake was “mutual respect” and a “long-standing friendship” he had with Jubeir.

Meanwhile, the OIC meeting in Istanbul focused on the Palestinian issue, coincided with the beginning of the Hajj season. Tens of thousands of Iranian pilgrims are currently travelling to Saudi Arabia for this year’s Hajj ritual. Despite lack of diplomatic ties between the two countries, Iranian officials had been in extensive talks with Saudis in order to ensure a safe and secure pilgrimage for the Iranians.

On the sidelines of the OIC meeting on Tuesday, Zarif also held talks with his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi on various bilateral and regional issues. 

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