Creating new perspectives since 2009

Peace in Gulf region ‘vital’ says China as Iran, Saudi, UAE mull naval alliance

June 6, 2023 at 1:32 pm

Iranian Navy forces on 14 January 2021 [IRANIAN ARMY/Anadolu Agency]

In an apparent approval of reports that Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman were forming a joint naval group with China, Beijing has said peace and stability of the Gulf region was of “vital importance to safeguarding world peace”, Anadolu Agency reports.

Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said in a news briefing in Beijing on Monday: “Upholding the peace and stability of the Gulf region in the Middle East bears on the well-being of countries and people in the region and is of vital importance to safeguarding world peace, boosting global economic growth and keeping energy supply stable.”

He was reacting to reports that Iran, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other Persian Gulf states were mulling to form a naval alliance that will also include India and Pakistan to “safeguard regional stability”, according to a transcript of Wang’s remarks to reporters.

READ: Netanyahu convenes Iran war drill, scorns UN nuclear watchdog

The Chinese official expressed support for Middle Eastern regional countries in resolving disputes and cultivating good-neighbourliness and friendship through dialogue and consultation.

China “supports regional countries in seeking development through solidarity and keeping their future firmly in their own hands,” he said, adding, “China will continue to play a positive and constructive role in promoting regional peace and stability.”

The reports of the joint naval force to protect security in the Persian Gulf came after the UAE last Wednesday said it had withdrawn from the US-led Combined Maritime Forces, which operates in the Gulf waters.

However, the Gulf nation said it remains committed to ensuring the safety of navigation in its own seas in line with international law.

READ: China, Iran, Russia to hold joint naval drills