China urges Iran and Saudi Arabia to work together to ‘avoid miscalculation’ as diplomats meet on restoration of ties

by Zhao Ziwen at

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi called for deeper cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Iran to “avoid miscalculation” as diplomats from the Middle Eastern states met in the Chinese capital for the first time since a Beijing-brokered deal to normalise relations between the two.
During the talks with Saudi deputy foreign minister Waleed Elkhereiji and his Iranian counterpart Ali Bagheri Kani on Friday, Wang also renewed Beijing’s call for “an immediate ceasefire” in the Israel-Gaza war.

“China has always stood by Arab and Muslim countries and supported the restoration of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. The most urgent task is to promote a ceasefire in Gaza, to stop the war, to promote humanitarian assistance, and to resume the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations,” state news agency Xinhua quoted Wang as saying.

The meeting was the first of the China-Saudi Arabia-Iran joint committee, a dialogue mechanism to support Riyadh and Tehran’s normalisation process.

“It is hoped that the two sides will continue to enhance mutual trust through dialogue and consultation, and achieve a lasting and comprehensive good-neighbourly friendship,” Wang said.

Under former foreign minister Qin Gang’s watch in April, Saudi Arabia and Iran announced the normalisation of diplomatic relations seven years after they were severed. The agreement was brokered by China and was widely seen as a sign of Beijing’s ambition to influence the region beyond economics.

Riyadh-owned Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said China expressed its readiness to continue playing a constructive role and its support for the Saudi and Iranian sides to strengthen ties.