Iran and Saudi Arabia on Friday agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations in a deal brokered by China.
The revival of relations brings an end to seven years of estrangement and jolting the geopolitical alignment of the Middle East.
The deal, which comes after other unsuccessful attempts by Iraq and others to mend fences, marks a diplomatic victory for Beijing in a region where the U.S. has long dominated geopolitics.
They also agreed that the ministers of foreign affairs of both countries shall meet to implement the provisions in the agreement, arrange the return of ambassadors, and discuss means of enhancing bilateral relations.
They also agreed to implement the Security Cooperation Agreement signed by the two countries on 17 April 2001, and the General Agreement for Cooperation in the Fields of Economy, Trade, Investment, Technology, Science, Culture, Sports, and Youth signed on 27 May 1998.
The Saudi Press Agency reported that the talks held during March 6-10, 2023 in Beijing were in response to the initiative of Chinese President Xi Jinping and based on the agreement between President Xi and the leaderships in Saudi Arabia and Iran, whereby China would host and sponsor talks between the two countries.
The Kingdom’s delegation was headed by Dr. Musaad Al-Aiban, Minister of State, Member of the Council of Ministers, and National Security Advisor, and the delegation of Iran was headed by Admiral Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council.
The Saudi and Iranian sides expressed their appreciation and gratitude to Iraq and Oman for hosting rounds of dialogue that took place between both sides during 2021-2022.
The two sides also expressed their appreciation and gratitude to the leadership and government of China for hosting and sponsoring the talks, and the efforts it made toward its success.
The three countries expressed their keenness to exert all efforts toward enhancing regional and international peace and security.