Kuwait has appointed an ambassador to Iran, both countries said on Sunday, more than six years after recalling its top ambassador to Tehran in solidarity with Saudi Arabia after it severed ties with the Islamic Republic in 2016.

Ambassador Bader Abdullah Al-Munaikh presented credentials to Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdallahian on Saturday in Tehran, according to the website of Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that Munaikh has been appointed as the ambassador to Iran.

Iran already has an ambassador in Kuwait. The move comes as Sunni Muslim powerhouse Saudi Arabia works to improve ties with Shiite Iran, with which it is in a rivalry that has been unfolding over conflicts in the region.

Riyadh severed ties with Tehran in January 2016 after Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Iran after Saudi Arabia executed a prominent Shiite cleric.

Kuwait recalled its ambassador to Iran as other Gulf Arab countries soured relations to support Riyadh. Kuwait has maintained relatively good foreign policy relations with Tehran, balancing ties with its larger neighbors.
The United Arab Emirates is working to send an ambassador to Iran to rebuild bridges after years of hostility, a senior Emirati official said last month.

Last year, Saudi Arabia started direct negotiations with Iran. The kingdom’s foreign minister said some progress had been made in five rounds of Iraqi-mediated talks, but “not enough.”

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