Tehran-Riyadh Deal Sets Example for Resolving Issues Through Dialogue

Tehran-Riyadh Deal Sets Example for Resolving Issues Through Dialogue
Tehran-Riyadh Deal Sets Example for Resolving Issues Through Dialogue

A Chinese senior diplomat said the recent negotiations between Iran and Saudi Arabia in Beijing, that led to a normalization agreement, has set a fine example for resolving problems and disagreements between countries through dialogue and consultation. 
“No matter how complex the issues are or how thorny the challenges may be, equal-footed dialogue on the basis of mutual respect will lead to a mutually acceptable solution,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a regular press briefing, according to the ministry’s website. 
China brokered negotiations between Tehran and Riyadh last week that resulted in an agreement on March 10, by which the two would resume diplomatic ties. 
Iran and Saudi Arabia had severed relations in 2016 after a group of Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi embassy over the kingdom’s execution of a Shia cleric. 
Both countries had already shown interest in reconciliation marked by several rounds of talks in Baghdad, Iraq, as well as mediatory efforts by Oman. 
Wenbin said the Beijing negotiations were held at the initiative of Chinese President Xi Jinping to support developing good neighborly relations between the two Middle East powers, and “yielded important outcomes.” 
He said the Beijing talks have turned a new page in Saudi Arabia-Iran relations and paved the way for realizing peace and stability in the Middle East.
“The three countries expressed their keenness to exert all efforts towards enhancing regional and international peace and security,” he said.



Shared Aspiration

When the deal was announced, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud hailed it in a tweet, stressing the need for cooperation among regional countries with common interests. 
“The countries of the region share one fate. That makes it necessary for us to work together to build models for prosperity and stability.”
Iranian officials also welcomed the agreement, with Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian saying it was a sign that Tehran’s regional policy was “strongly moving in the right direction” and that the country’s “diplomatic apparatus is actively behind the preparation of more regional steps.”
China’s top diplomat Wang, Yi, who signed the joint statement along with Iranian and Saudi representatives, described the agreement at the time as “a victory for dialogue and peace”. 
It was welcomed not only by fellow Persian Gulf states and other neighboring countries, but also by the European Union and the United States. 
Heads of international bodies, including the United Nations, the League of Arab States and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, also praised the deal as a contribution to regional stability.  
“The international acclaim fully demonstrates that lasting peace, stability and security is the shared aspiration of regional countries and that upholding strategic independence and seeking solidarity and cooperation has strong backing from people worldwide,” the Chinese diplomat said at the press conference.  



Middle East Summit 

Wenbin later expressed China’s support for regional countries to carry forward the spirit of independence, strengthen solidarity and coordination, and join hands to make the Middle East more peaceful, stable and prosperous.
The Middle East belongs to the people of the region and its future must be determined by the people of Middle East countries, according to the spokesman. 
“China will be a promoter of security and stability, partner for development and prosperity and supporter of the Middle East’s development through solidarity,” he said. 
He added that Beijing will continue to contribute its insights and proposals to realizing peace and tranquility in the Middle East and play its role as a responsible major country in this process.?
“It is our hope that more and more countries will join us in implementing the Global Security Initiative to realize enduring peace and universal security,” he said, pointing President Xi’s security initiative. 
Following the announcement of the agreement, the Wall Street Journal reported that Chinese leader plans to continue to press ahead with his country’s regional leadership and host a high-level meeting of Persian Gulf Arab leaders and Iranian officials in Beijing later this year.
The gathering has reportedly been in discussion since December, when Xi met with Arab leaders at a regional summit in Riyadh and proposed the idea.
According to the Wall Street Journal report, the new deal provides two months for Iran and Saudi Arabia to agree on details before reopening their embassies. Once an agreement is reached on those specifics, the countries’ foreign ministers will then meet to finalize it and the purported Middle East summit in China will take place after that announcement.
China had earlier proposed a five-point initiative on achieving security and stability in the Middle East in early 2021. 

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