Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan met with his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, in the Chinese capital Beijing today in the first such gathering in seven years.
A joint readout released by Tehran referred to last month’s Chinese-brokered deal between the two sides, saying: “The two sides emphasised the importance of following up on the implementation of the Beijing Agreement and its activation in a way that expands mutual trust and the fields of cooperation and helps to create security, stability and prosperity in the region.”
The agreement’s provisions include the start of arrangements for reopening embassies and consulates, in addition to the resumption of flights and facilitating the granting of visas for citizens. They also discussed the resumption of exchanging officials and private sector delegations.
They agreed to expand cooperation “in any field that can ensure the security and stability of the region and realise the interests of its nations and countries,” the statement said.
China’s behind-the-scenes role in facilitating the breakthrough between Tehran and Riyadh has added a new dimension to the Middle East landscape. The United States has been the primary mediator for decades, flexing its security and diplomatic muscles.
An agreement was signed between Saudi Arabia and Iran in Beijing with Chinese mediation on 10 March to resume diplomatic relations severed between the two countries for seven years and to reopen embassies in both countries within a maximum period of two months.
The deal also rattled the occupation state of Israel, which has for years been working to improve its ties with Riyadh and establish a bloc against Iran.