Saudi Arabia, Iran FMs hold first talks in years

Both states discuss resuming flights, reopening diplomatic missions within two months

BEIJING   -    Iran and Saudi Arabia Thursday signed an agreement for resum­ing diplomatic relations after the meeting with Chinese Foreign Min­ister Qin Gang witnessing the sign­ing ceremony, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said. 

Upon the proposal of Saudi Ara­bia and Iran, China received Saudi Arabian Minister for Foreign Af­fairs, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, and Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdolla­hian, for a meeting in the Chinese capital here, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Moa Ning said during her regular briefing held here.

The spokesperson informed that the Chinese foreign minister met with his two counterparts from Saudi Arabia and Iran. A joint state­ment said they discussed reopen­ing diplomatic missions within two months and resuming flights.

The foreign ministers of Sau­di Arabia and Iran announced the resumption of diplomatic ties and signed a joint statement.

Both noted that they will con­tinue to advance the process to improve bilateral relations in ac­cordance with the roadmap and timeline identified in their Beijing talks in March and thanked China for its important role in facilitating the talks, she added. 

Mao Ning said that China wel­comes and applauds the contin­ued steps Saudi Arabia and Iran have taken to improve their re­lations, adding, “We are ready to keep playing a mediating role, support both sides in building trust, dispelling misgivings and realizing good neighborliness, and contribute China’s wisdom and strength to promoting security, stability and development in the Middle East.” She said that the fur­ther improvement of relations be­tween Saudi Arabia and Iran ful­ly shows that regional countries have the will and ability to take the initiative of regional peace and development. “The recent in­teractions in the Middle East also show that peace and development is what people aspire for and what the trend is leading to,” she added. 

The spokesperson called upon the international community to help Middle East countries re­solve differences and enhance solidarity. Acts to stoke tensions, create divisions, divide and rule and other colonial, hegemonic practices will be opposed by peo­ple all over the world. 

She said that as a good friend and a good partner, China will as always respect Middle East countries, who are the true masters of their future. 

“We are a force for reconciliation, peace and harmony in the Mid­dle East. China will implement the Global Security Initiative, the Glob­al Development Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative with Middle East countries, promote se­curity, stability, development, pros­perity, inclusiveness and harmony in the Middle East,” she added.

Meanwhile, Liu Zhongmin, a pro­fessor at the Middle East Studies Institute of Shanghai Internation­al Studies University, told the Glob­al Times that in the long run, the three sides also need to talk about many other issues as there is still a long way to go for Saudi Arabia and Iran to establish mutual trust. 

For example, the three sides could discuss whether it is neces­sary to set up a tripartite mecha­nism or even any bilateral mech­anism between Saudi Arabia and Iran, between the Gulf Coopera­tion Council and Iran or between the Arab League and Iran as the relationship between Saudi Ara­bia and Iran involves many other issues in addition to their bilat­eral ties, such as issues related to Yemen and Syria.

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