Chinese president plays pivotal role in Iran-Saudi talks

TEHRAN, May 01 (MNA) – Chinese President Xi Jinping played a key role in helping to persuade the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Iran to restore ties and end their seven-year diplomatic rift, a senior Beijing diplomat said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping “personally persuaded the leaders of the two countries and supported Saudi and Iran to develop a friendly relationship as neighbors,” the director of the Chinese foreign ministry’s Department of West Asian and North African Affairs, Wang Di, told the People’s Daily newspaper.

Wang added that Beijing’s efforts to promote regional stability in the Middle East come amid “some large countries outside the region causing long-term instability” for what he described as their own “self-interest.”

He also indicated that Beijing will be a “fair mediator” and that it will continue to be a “promoter of peace and stability in the Middle East.”

The talks between Tehran and Riyadh were notable in that the US was not involved, despite having been a key diplomatic player in the region for some 75 years.

Last month’s Beijing-brokered accord between Saudi Arabia and Iran was heralded as an important foreign-policy win for China. It also led to the Riyadh launching peace talks designed to end the eight-year conflict in Yemen. It also signaled that Beijing’s “diplomatic credibility” in the region is gaining a foothold with its economic influence, said Oliver John of Washington-based think tank Middle East Influence, according to Saturday’s South China Morning Post.


News Code 200126


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