Saudi Arabia's oil giant Aramco posted a record net profit of $2022.161 billion in 1. This was an increase of around 46 percent compared to 2021, as the group announced on Sunday. Among other things, the company benefited from higher energy prices. Analysts, however, had expected an even higher profit on average: 162.17 billion dollars.

Meanwhile, the Middle East may be heading for a political turning point: arch-rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed on Friday to resume diplomatic relations that were broken off seven years ago. This was announced by the two regional powers via their state media. Apparently, China played a crucial role. The agreement follows four days of talks between senior security officials of the two rival powers in Beijing.

Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran in 2016 after its embassy in Tehran was stormed during a dispute between the two countries over Riyadh's execution of a Shiite cleric. Iran sees itself as the protecting power of the Shiites, Saudi Arabia claims this role for Sunnis.

Iran and Saudi Arabia support different sides in conflicts that have plagued the region for years, most notably the civil wars in Yemen and Syria. Saudi Arabia, which now also maintains diplomatic relations with Israel, has also always sharply criticized Iran for its nuclear program.

Both Saudi Arabia and Iran thanked China on Friday, as well as Iraq and Oman, for hosting earlier talks in 2021 and 2022. The two countries will reopen their embassies and missions within two months, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported. China had recently presented a peace concept for the Russian war in Ukraine.