Thailand, Saudi Arabia Restore Full Ties After Row Over 50-Carat Blue Diamond

(Bloomberg) -- Thailand and Saudi Arabia agreed to restore full diplomatic relations for the first time in more than three decades with Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha expressing regret over a series of “tragic cases” involving a 50-carat blue diamond that had soured ties.

The two countries agreed to appoint ambassadors in the near future and work on bilateral cooperation in a “historic breakthrough,” according to a joint statement issued after Prayuth’s meeting with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in Riyadh on Tuesday. His visit was the first by a Thai leader since ties were severed due to a jewelry heist in 1989 and subsequent murder of three Saudi diplomats.

Prayuth “expressed his sincere regrets for the tragic cases that took place in Thailand between 1989–1990,” according to the statement. “Thailand places utmost importance to the bond of friendship with Saudi Arabia.”

Saudi Arabia downgraded diplomatic relations with Thailand following a jewelry heist by a Thai janitor working for one of the Saudi princes that involved millions of dollars of valuables, including a blue diamond.