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Bin Salman thanks China for efforts to restore Saudi-Iran ties

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud (R) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during his welcome ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, December 8, 2022. (Photo by the Saudi Press Agency)

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud has appreciated China’s efforts in brokering a rapprochement deal between Riyadh and Tehran.

In a telephone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday, bin Salman “expressed Saudi Arabia’s appreciation for the Chinese initiative to support the development of good neighborly relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran,” the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to resume their diplomatic relations and reopen their embassies and diplomatic missions after seven years of estrangement. The detente between the two Middle Eastern powers followed several days of intensive negotiations hosted by China.

Top Saudi and Iranian diplomats have held two phone calls over the past few days and are expected to meet during the ongoing Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

According to an unnamed Saudi official, Xi had expressed his desire for China to be a “bridge” between Saudi Arabia and Iran during bilateral talks at a summit in Riyadh last December, and bin Salman welcomed the bid.

The Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported that during Tuesday’s phone call, Xi expressed Beijing’s readiness to keep supporting the follow-up process of the Riyadh-Tehran talks.

He also hoped that Saudi Arabia and Iran will “uphold the spirit of good neighborliness and continue to improve their relations on the basis of the results of their talks in Beijing.”

Also in his remarks, the Chinese president said his country stands ready to expand practical cooperation and people-to-people exchanges with Saudi Arabia, and push for greater development of a China-Saudi Arabia comprehensive strategic partnership.

China, he added, is ready to work with Saudi Arabia to make all-out efforts in building a China-Arab community with a shared future in the new era and contribute more to peace, stability and development in the Middle East.

Xi further stressed that China is prepared to implement the outcomes of his state visit to Saudi Arabia, the first China-Arab States Summit and the China-Persian Gulf Cooperation Council Summit last year.

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