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China proposes multilateral forum to defuse tensions in Middle East

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (not seen) in Moscow, Russia on September 11, 2020 [RUS Foreign Ministry - Anadolu Agency]
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (not seen) in Moscow, Russia on September 11, 2020 [RUS Foreign Ministry - Anadolu Agency]

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi proposed the formation of a new multilateral forum to de-escalate tensions in the Middle East, international news agencies reported yesterday.

His remarks came during a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in China’s southwestern city of Tengchong on Saturday.

Wang and Zarif also reiterated their commitment to Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which was unilaterally abandoned by the United States in 2018.

In a statement, China’s Foreign Ministry said: “China proposes to build a regional multilateral dialogue platform with equal participation of all stakeholders.”

READ: A China-Iran deal could provide Pakistan with windows of opportunity

According to the statement, the forum would “enhance mutual understanding through dialogue and explore political and diplomatic solutions to security issues in the Middle East.”

Following the talks, Zarif said he held “fruitful” talks with Wang which rejected “US unilateralism” and focused on strategic ties and collaboration on the development of a coronavirus vaccine.

Tehran Times said that Iran and China are negotiating over the 25-year partnership plan that, if finalised, would increase cooperation between Tehran and Beijing to an unprecedented level, especially in the oil and gas sector.

According to the paper, details leaked to the press stated that China will invest a whopping $400 billion in various Iranian sectors including oil and gas. In exchange, Iran will ensure steady energy supplies to China for a period of 25 years at a discounted rate.

READ: Turkey urges China to allow Uyghurs to contribute to its prosperity

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