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Saudi Arabia extends invitation to Iranian foreign minister, signaling possible thaw

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.