16-09-2021 06:49 PM Jerusalem Timing

China Urges Calm between Saudi Arabia and Iran

China Urges Calm between Saudi Arabia and Iran

A Chinese diplomat urged "calm and restraint" between Saudi Arabia and Iran during a visit to both countries last week, China’s government said Monday.

A Chinese diplomat urged "calm and restraint" between Saudi Arabia and Iran during a visit to both countries last week, China's government said Monday.

Chinese vice foreign minister Zhang Ming met last week with senior Saudi and Iranian officials during two-day visits to each country, China's ministry of foreign affairs said in separate statements on its official website.

In Saudi Arabia, he expressed his hope for calm and restraint from all relevant parties, a resolution of differences through dialogue, and joint efforts to push the situation towards detente, the statement said.

In Iran, he repeated the same wish for calm and restraint, stating that he hoped all parties would work together to safeguard regional peace and stability, it added.

The dispute between Saudi and Iran started after the Gulf Kingdom executed prominent cleric, Sheikh Nimr Baqer al-Nimr, a move that Iran had repeatedly warned against.

Sheikh Nimr was a vocal supporter of the mass pro-democracy protests against Riyadh, which erupted in Eastern Province in 2011, where a Shia majority has long complained of marginalization.

Saudi cut its ties with Iran, under the pretext that its embassy in Tehran and its consulate in Mashhad came under attack by protesters angered by Sheikh Nimr’s execution.

Djibouti, Sudan and Bahrain then cut ties with Iran. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) partially downgraded its relations with Iran, while Kuwait and Qatar have recalled their envoys from Tehran.