(Photo Credit: @KSAmofaEN)
The foreign ministers of Iran and Saudi Arabia met in the Chinese capital Beijing on 6 April, less than a month after the two nations agreed to restore diplomatic relations under a China-brokered deal.
BREAKING NEWS: For the first time in 7 years, the foreign ministers of Iran and Saudi Arabia meet in Beijing for a historic summit as part of a Chinese-sponsored reconciliation deal. pic.twitter.com/pvEHJX9pbv
— The Cradle (@TheCradleMedia) April 6, 2023
After being greeted by Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and Prince Faisal bin Farhan presided over a meeting between their respective delegations. They also issued a joint statement saying Tehran and Riyadh would launch arrangements to reopen embassies and consulates in the coming weeks.
“The technical teams will continue coordination to examine the ways of expanding cooperation, including the resumption of flights and bilateral visits of official and private sector delegations and facilitating the granting of visas for the citizens of the two countries,” the statement reads.
In addition to this, the statement says there are plans to reactivate a security cooperation agreement the two countries signed in 2001, as well as a general agreement for “cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, investment, technology, science, culture, sports, and youth” that was signed in 1998.
“Today, we had a positive meeting and discussion with my colleague Amir Faisal bin Farhan in Beijing … the emphasis on stability, sustainable security, and development of the region are the issues agreed upon and on the common agenda,” Amir-Abdollahian wrote on Twitter on Wednesday morning.
امروز با همکارم امیر فیصلبنفرحان در پکن دیدار و گفتگویی مثبت داشتیم. شروع روابط رسمی دیپلماتیک تهران -ریاض، از سرگیری حج عمره، همکاری اقتصادی و تجاری، بازگشایی سفارتخانهها و سرکنسولگریها و تاکید بر ثبات، امنیت پایدار و توسعه منطقه، موضوعات مورد توافق و دستور کار مشترک است. pic.twitter.com/PyGhThc2dg
— H.Amirabdollahian امیرعبداللهیان (@Amirabdolahian) April 6, 2023
On 10 March, Beijing shocked the world by brokering a landmark deal between historic rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia to end a seven-year rift and restore diplomatic ties – in a powerful display of China’s growing influence in West Asia.
Riyadh and Tehran cut formal ties after Iranian protesters attacked Saudi diplomatic missions in 2016 following the kingdom’s execution of Shia Muslim leader Nimr al-Nimr – one in a series of flashpoints between the two regional superpowers.
The relationship began souring a year earlier, after Saudi Arabia and the UAE, with the support of NATO, launched a brutal war on Yemen to remove the Ansarallah resistance movement from power.
However, under the Chinese-brokered deal, Tehran and Riyadh agreed to respect each others’ national sovereignty and refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of one another.
Much to the dismay of the US and Israel, the détente is a significant step towards easing tensions in a region gripped by conflict and turmoil for decades.