Saudi Arabia says it wants to resolve differences with Iran and has invited the Islamic Republic's foreign minister to visit the kingdom, a step that could represent a significant thaw between the two oil-rich nations.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal was quoted by the country's official news agency Tuesday evening as saying he has invited his Iranian counterpart to visit, and that the kingdom is awaiting a reply.

Prince Saud described Iran as a neighbor and that Saudi Arabia hopes "to end any differences between the two countries."

Sunni-ruled and U.S.-allied Saudi Arabia has long been wary of Shiite powerhouse Iran's influence in the region.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in recent months has visited several Gulf states in a sign of improving relations with Iran's Sunni neighbors.