Saudi Arabia, Iran sign agreement for resuming diplomatic relations
Updated 21:45, 06-Apr-2023

China supports countries in the Middle East in upholding their strategic autonomy, strengthening solidarity and cooperation, eliminating external interference, and taking charge of their own future, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang declared on Thursday.

Qin made the remarks in a meeting with Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Beijing, according to a statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Saudi Arabia and Iran signed an agreement for resuming diplomatic relations after the meeting, with Qin witnessing the signing ceremony, the foreign ministry said.

China welcomes and applauds the continued steps Saudi Arabia and Iran have taken to improve their relations, and is ready to keep playing a mediating role, support both sides in building trust and dispelling misgivings, and contribute its strength to promoting security, stability and development in the Middle East, Qin added.

Both Saudi Arabia's and Iran's foreign ministers praised China's role as a responsible major power and thanked China for its support in facilitating the talks between the two countries. They noted that the two sides will continue to work together to improve bilateral relations in accordance with their March talks in Beijing, as well as to maintain regional peace and stability.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani announced on Thursday that, as part of their dialogue and negotiations, Saudi Arabia and Iran have decided to hold meetings of governmental and private delegations to expand their cooperation in areas such as commerce and economics.

The two countries have also agreed to open air routes and issue visas for activities in various economic and commercial sectors, thus establishing formal relations between them.

China, Saudi Arabia and Iran announced in Beijing on March 10 that the latter two had reached a deal that includes the agreement to resume diplomatic relations and reopen embassies and missions within two months.

The China-brokered agreement has been widely welcomed around the globe as a victory for peace and dialogue. Analysts and media praised China for its role as a peace broker and efforts to facilitate dialogue.

Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Iran in 2016 in response to the attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran after the kingdom executed a Shiite cleric.

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