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ZURICH (Reuters) - Neutral Switzerland's embassies in Riyadh and Tehran have signed agreements to represent Iranian interests in Saudi Arabia and Saudi interests in Iran, the Swiss government said on Wednesday.

After the Middle Eastern rivals severed relations at the beginning of January 2016, both countries agreed to Switzerland's offer of its traditional policy of good offices to "undertake a protecting power mandate on both sides", Switzerland said.

The Swiss government gave its approval to the arrangement at a meeting on Wednesday, with the mandate covering consular services for both nations.

"Switzerland has a long history of representing foreign interests whereby it covers partial consular services and sometimes diplomatic tasks for countries that have broken off relations, if requested by the states in question," the government said.

(Reporting by John Revill, editing by John Miller)

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