ANKARA 

Saudi Arabia is planning for the fifth round of talks with Iran although previous meetings fell short of substantive progress, the Kingdom’s foreign minister said Saturday.

Faisal bin Farhan’s remarks came at a session as part of the Munich Security Conference 2022 where he, along with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Hussein Abdullah Al-Safadi, commented on developments in the Middle East.

“We are looking towards scheduling the fifth date, it has not yet been scheduled. We are, despite the lack of substantive progress in the previous rounds, still very interested in exploring the potential to move further ahead,” he said.

However, according to the minister, that would require serious desire from Iran to address underlying issues in existence.

“We hope that that exists and we hope that there is a serious desire to find a new modus operandi,” he said, adding that Saudi Arabia is looking to engage and establish a partnership with all neighbors, including Iran.

He also said the US and other allies were “readjusting” how they addressed issues in the Middle East and regional countries had a responsibility to step up and solve their own problems.

Al-Safadi said the countries in the Middle East said they could not solely depend on other actors to solve issues and they had their share as well.

“More crises are emerging. We have got to take ownership of our own issues and lead with our initiative. At the end of the day, it is our region and we are affected more than anybody else by the crisis continuing to evade a solution,” he said.

“We need to work together as a region; the Middle East, unfortunately, is a region only in name but when it comes to regional mechanisms of cooperation and integration, there is a lot to be done,” he said. “Our view in Jordan is that we need to come close together, work together.”

He also noted that the eruption of the coronavirus pandemic exposed many issues but also demonstrated the necessity of regional countries to come together not just in engaging in chronic political problems but also in addressing the needs of people in fields such as development, food and water security.

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