In a call with the Saudi crown prince, Xi praises the Middle East’s thaw

During a phone chat with the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping praised what he called the lessening of tensions in the Middle East, according to official media.

On March 10, Beijing mediated a deal between Tehran and Riyadh to thaw diplomatic ties after a seven-year standstill.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have fought a number of proxy wars in the area, including the lengthy War in Yemen. The two countries have long been fierce enemies.

In the first public remarks on the subject since the agreement was reached, Xi stated that the Chinese-sponsored dialogue would “play a big role in strengthening regional unity and cooperation.”

According to the official Saudi News Agency, Crown Prince Mohammed “expressed the Kingdom’s appreciation for the Chinese initiative to support efforts to establish neighborly relations” between the two parties on Tuesday.

According to Saudi official media, Iran and Saudi Arabia are currently planning to reopen their embassies in each other’s capitals, and a meeting between their two top diplomats is anticipated before the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

The Saudi and Iranian delegates “expressed their appreciation and gratitude to the leadership and government of the People’s Republic of China for hosting and sponsoring the negotiations,” according to a trilateral statement released following the agreement.

For Xi, who has pushed for China to take a more active role in world affairs throughout his decade in office, the agreement constituted a significant victory.


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