Oct 11 (Reuters) – Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on Wednesday in the first phone call between the two leaders since a Chinese-brokered agreement between Tehran and Riyadh to resume relations.
The two leaders’ call came as Israel carried out air strikes on the Gaza Strip in response to a deadly attack by Palestinian Hamas militants in Israel.
Iranian official media reported that Raisi and the Saudi Crown Prince discussed “the necessity of ending war crimes against Palestine.”
The official Saudi Press Agency reported that the Saudi Crown Prince, for his part, confirmed that “the Kingdom is making every possible effort to communicate with all international and regional parties to stop the ongoing escalation.”
The agency added that Saudi Arabia renewed its refusal to target civilians in any way.
Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed to resume relations in March under an agreement negotiated by China after seven years of hostility that threatened stability and security in the Gulf and helped fuel conflicts in the Middle East from Yemen to Syria.
In response to a question about a key call with the Crown Prince, a senior US State Department official said that Washington, which strongly supports Israel in its war against Hamas, was “in constant contact with Saudi leaders.”
The official added that the United States is asking its partners who have channels or relationships with Hamas, Lebanese Hezbollah, or Iran to “convince Hamas to stop its attacks, release the hostages, keep Hezbollah out of the battle (and) keep Iran out of the battle.”
(Reporting by the Dubai newsroom; Editing by Chris Rees, Diane Craft and Lincoln Feast)
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