US welcomes China-backed Saudi-Iranian deal to restore ties, White House says

“The roadmap announced today appears quite similar to what was discussed between the Saudis and Iranians over multiple rounds of talks held in Baghdad and Muscat in 2021 and 2022,” a White House official told Al Arabiya English.

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The US welcomes the recent agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran to re-establish ties and has “long encouraged direct dialogue” between the two, a White House official said Friday.

Saudi Arabia and Iran said that they had agreed to restore diplomatic ties, reopen embassies and exchange ambassadors within two months, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported,

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“Generally speaking, we welcome any efforts to help end the war in Yemen and de-escalate tensions in the Middle East region,” a National Security Council official told Al Arabiya English. “De-escalation and diplomacy together with deterrence are key pillars of the policy President Biden outlined during his visit to the region last year.”

Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran after two of its diplomatic posts were attacked in Tehran and Mashhad in 2016.

In the latest agreement, Riyadh and Tehran vowed to activate a security cooperation agreement signed in 2001 and the trade, economy and investment agreement signed in 1998. According to the statement, China’s President Xi Jinping had made an initiative to host and sponsor talks between delegates from Iran and Saudi Arabia to resolve disputes via dialogue and diplomacy.

The NSC official said the US had “long encouraged direct dialogue and diplomacy to help reduce tensions and reduce risks of conflict.”

The official added: “In fact, the roadmap announced today appears quite similar to what was discussed between the Saudis and Iranians over multiple rounds of talks held in Baghdad and Muscat in 2021 and 2022. We always supported those processes.”

Read more: Iraq and Oman welcome reestablishment of diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia, Iran

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