Swiss embassies to enable contact between Iran, Saudi Arabia

Switzerland will facilitate diplomatic contact between Iran and Saudi Arabia via its embassies, the country's Foreign Ministry said Sunday in Bern.

The neutral European country will use its so-called protecting power mandate, a "go-between" function that allows Switzerland to take over some diplomatic duties of the politically-estranged countries.

The adoption of the mandate was announced after Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter made a one-day visit to Riyadh.

Iran and Saudi Arabia broke off diplomatic relations at the beginning of January after Saudi Arabia's execution of a dissident Shiite cleric triggered outrage in Tehran and led protesters to storm the Saudi embassy.

Shiite Iran and the Sunni Saudi kingdom have long jockeyed for the dominant position in the Middle East through strategic alliances. In the ongoing Syrian conflict, Tehran supports the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, while Riyadh backs opposition rebel groups.

Last update: Sun, 14/02/2016 - 16:54

More from World

EU-Canada summit gets green light despite trade deal setback

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will travel to Brussels for an EU-Canada summit despite resistance in the...

ICC: South Africa, Burundi withdrawal "watershed moment" for justice

The African continent experienced a "watershed moment" for justice after South Africa and Burundi announced their...

Nine shot dead in Central African Republic during protests

Nine people were shot dead in the volatile Central African Republic on Monday, hospital sources said, as hundreds of...

Kurds fend off Islamic State attacks as Baghdad-Ankara spat continues

Kurdish forces on Monday said they fended off two attacks by Islamic State fighters in northern Iraq as Turkish and...

One killed, 100 injured in South Africa train collision

One person was killed and about 100 injured Monday when two passenger trains collided head-on in South Africa, the...