(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. Prayuth’s 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. 

Three Saudi diplomats seeking the valuables’ return were shot dead in Bangkok and a Bangkok-based Saudi businessman believed to have been looking for the missing jewels also disappeared, and was later presumed killed. No one was convicted for the killings.

Prayuth said Thailand had “exerted utmost efforts” to resolve the cases and it stands ready to revist if new evidence emerges, according to the statement. Thailand will stand by its commitment to provide “appropriate security” to Saudi Arabia’s embassy officials, he added. 

Saudi Arabia and Thailand will now work to strengthen economic and trade relations by exploring joint investments and other opportunities. Areas of bilateral cooperation identified included renewable energy, environment, digital transformation, and cybersecurity.

Prayuth and Prince Mohammad also agreed to increase interactions and coordination between government agencies as well as private sectors to elevate bilateral relations to new heights for the mutual benefit of the two kingdoms. 

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