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China Sends Envoy to Saudi, Iran amid Feud - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Saudi- Iran Relations

Saudi- Iran Relations

BEIJING – Amid the escalating tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran, China has sent an envoy to the two countries, the foreign ministry said on Thursday, calling on all sides to exercise restraint.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Ming was currently in Saudi Arabia and would travel on to Iran, ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing.

“We hope the situation in the Middle East can move in the direction of amelioration,” Hua told reporters.

Tension between the two conflicting countries has spiraled since the execution of a Shiite cleric in Saudi Arabia.

Qatar recalled its ambassador to Iran on Wednesday, state news agency QNA said, after allies Saudi Arabia and Bahrain cut their ties with Tehran following attacks on Saudi missions by Iranian protesters.

“We hope that all parties can remain calm and exercise restraint and appropriately resolve relevant issues via dialogue and consultation,” Hua added.

China has always tended to leave Middle Eastern diplomacy to the other five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council – the United States, Britain, France and Russia.
But China has been trying to get more diplomatically involved, especially that it relies on the region for oil supplies.

The ministry said that Foreign Minister Wang Yi had met the head of the Western-backed opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC).

Wang told SNC president Khaled Khoja he hoped the SNC would attend peace talks without preconditions, the ministry said in a statement.

China has repeatedly called for a political resolution and warned that military action cannot end the crisis. Khoja’s visit comes two weeks after Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem visited China.

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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