1st meeting of China-Saudi Arabia-Iran trilateral joint committee concludes; MidEast should ‘no longer be geopolitical arena’ for great powers

Global Times, December 16, 2023 —

The Middle East should no longer be a geopolitical arena of great powers, and the fate of the region should be in the hands of the people, said Wang Yi, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Chinese Foreign Minister, in meeting with Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed Elkhereiji and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Ali Bagheri Kani on Friday in Beijing.

Wang, also director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, said China always supports the people of the Middle East in independently exploring development paths, supports the Middle East countries in working together to solve regional security issues, and supports Saudi Arabia and Iran in continuously advancing the process of improving relations.

The first meeting of the China-Saudi Arabia-Iran trilateral joint committee concluded in Beijing on Friday.

China is willing to use this trilateral meeting as an opportunity to inject new impetus into the good-neighborly friendship between Saudi Arabia and Iran and make new contributions to promoting peace and stability in the Middle East, Wang said.

During the meeting, Wang put forward three suggestions on continuing to advance the process of improving relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

To begin with, he emphasized the importance of steadfastly adhering to the strategic decision of reconciliation. It is desired that Saudi Arabia and Iran will continue to build trust through dialogue and consultation, ultimately achieving a long-lasting and comprehensive friendly relationship.

Additionally, he proposed further advancements in improving relations. China warmly welcomes Saudi Arabia and Iran to actively explore cooperation and expand exchanges in various areas such as economy, trade, security, and people-to-people exchanges. China is also prepared to strengthen exchanges with both sides to assist in enhancing relations.

Lastly, he called for the rejection of external interference in dealing with improving relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Wang emphasized that the Middle East can no longer be an arena for great powers, and the fate of the Middle East should be determined by the people of the regional countries themselves.

During the trilateral meeting, Saudi Arabia and Iran expressed their commitment to the full implementation of the Beijing Agreement reached in March.

China, Saudi Arabia and Iran all expressed concerns over the current situation in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank of the Jordan River, believing that it poses a threat to regional and international peace and security.

They called for the immediate cessation of military actions in the Gaza Strip and the provision of sustainable assistance to civilians, while opposing the forced displacement of Palestinians. The three parties stressed that any arrangements concerning the future of Palestine must reflect the will of the Palestinian people and support their right to establish a state and exercise self-determination.

“The pressing task is to push for a ceasefire and cessation of fighting in Gaza, advance humanitarian aid and resume Palestinian-Israeli negotiations,” Wang said, emphasizing that any solution to the conflict should be based on respect of the will of the Palestinian people and the legitimate concerns of regional countries, and should not deviate from a two-state solution.

China supports Saudi Arabia and Iran in jointly pushing Islamic countries to form a stronger unified position on the escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Wang said.

During their meeting with Wang, Elkhereiji and Bagheri thanked China for hosting the trilateral meeting, saying Saudi Arabia and Iran welcome and support China’s greater role in the development of the Middle East.

On the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People that falls on November 29, China announced several practical actions, including the releasing of a paper stating China’s position on resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, the Embassy of Palestine in China, and the Representative Office of the League of Arab States in Beijing jointly held a commemoration for the day on Friday.

Palestinian Ambassador to China and Head of the Arab Mission in China Fariz Mahdawi who attended the event expressed his appreciation for the fair stance and positive role that China has taken on the Palestine issue.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *