China scores another diplomatic victory as Iran-Saudi Arabia reconciliation advances


Taiwan President meets with McCarthy

Taiwan President meets with Kevin McCarthy in California


Beijing – Saudi Arabia and Iran on Thursday agreed to reopen diplomatic missions in their respective capitals and in other cities, the semi-official Iranian news agency said. ISNA reported that the foreign ministers reached the agreement in Beijing. The deal also calls on countries to examine the prospects of resuming flights between the two nations and easing the visa process for citizens of both countries.

Saudi Arabia and Iran have long been regional rivals but have moved towards reconciliation under a deal Deal brokered by China last month. The deal represents a new step towards reconciliation after seven years of tensions and reduces the likelihood of armed conflict between rivals in the Middle East – both direct and in proxy conflicts in the region.

The Beijing-brokered deal also represents a major diplomatic victory for the Chinese, as the Gulf Arab states feel the United States is slowly withdrawing from the wider Middle East. China achieved victory amid increasingly strained relations with the US over Taiwan’s status.

China Saudi Arabia Iran
In this image released by Iran’s Foreign Ministry, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian (left) shakes hands with his Saudi Arabian counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud (right) and Chinese counterpart Qin Gang in Beijing, April 6, 2023.

Iranian Foreign Ministry via AP

The leader of the democratically governed island met in California on Wednesday with Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy and other US lawmakers. China claims Taiwan as its own territory, to be “reunited” with the mainland by force if necessary, and had to announced “decisive countermeasures”. about the meeting in California. When Iran announced the new diplomatic steps in Beijing on Thursday, China’s military sailed into the waters around Taiwan with warships.

The ongoing diplomacy in Beijing came amid ongoing efforts by diplomats to end years of war in Yemena conflict in which both Iran and Saudi Arabia have deep roots.

On Thursday morning, Saudi Arabia’s state television channel Al-Ekhbariya showed Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amirabdollahian as they shook hands and sat side by side. Iranian state television said the two ministers met to discuss the details of reopening the embassies.

It was the first formal meeting of senior diplomats from the two nations since 2016, when the kingdom severed ties with Iran after protesters invaded Saudi diplomatic posts there. Days earlier, Saudi Arabia had executed a prominent Shiite cleric along with 46 others, triggering the demonstrations.

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