New Delhi not worried about Beijing’s role in Iran-Saudi pact


Dr. Iraj Elahi, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to India, at State Archives along with Mahdi Shahrokhi, Consul General of Iran, recently in Hyderabad (ANI)

Iran and Saudi Arabia last week announced to re-establish diplomatic ties and reopen embassies after talks in Beijing between officials from two Middle East powers

Our Bureau
New Delhi

India has good ties with various nations in West Asia and has an “abiding interest” in the region, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a press briefing on Thursday. In response to a question regarding the Saudi Arabia-Iran pact brokered by China, Bagchi said, “We have seen the reports in this regard. India has good relations with various countries in West Asia and we have abiding interest in the region. India has always advocated dialogue and diplomacy as a way to resolve differences.”

The statement of Arindam Bagchi comes after Iran and Saudi Arabia last week announced to re-establish diplomatic ties and reopen embassies after talks in Beijing between officials from two Middle East powers, Iranian state media reported on Friday.

The major development came after years of tensions between the two nations. The joint trilateral statement issued by China, Saudi Arabia and Iran said, “With the initiative of Chinese President Xi Jinping of China’s support for developing good neighbourly relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

The delegations from the two countries held talks from March 6-10, 2023 in Beijing. In the trilateral agreement, Iran, Saudi Arabia and China said, “They also agreed that the ministers of foreign affairs of both countries shall meet to implement this, arrange for the return of their ambassadors, and discuss means of enhancing bilateral relations. They also agreed to implement the Security Cooperation Agreement between them, which was signed in 2001, and the General Agreement for Cooperation in the Fields of Economy, Trade, Investment, Technology, Science, Culture, Sports, and Youth, which was signed in 1998.”

Meanwhile, Iranian Ambassador to India, Iraj Elahi in a press briefing here said that the resumption of the diplomatic ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia mediated by China should not be a concern for India, adding that this step could benefit India since it helps intensify stability and peace in the Persian Gulf region.

“The resumption of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran whether the mediation has been done by China or India or any other would be to the benefit of India. Since it helps and intensifies the stability and peace in the region and security in the Persian Gulf region”, said the Iranian Envoy. Saudi Arabia is a leading country in the Sunni world. Iran is a leading country in Shia world. So, it will affect the region positively. In the comings months , the embassies will be open and relations between two countries will be restarted and it will help different crisis in the region.

“It (diplomactic ties between Iran-Saudi) would be to the benefit of India despite it has been done by the mediation of China. I think it is not a concern for India. China is a power in the world now competing with the US and no one can deny the power and position of China. India is a rising power. So, this resumption could be to the benefit of India”, he added.

Iran and Saudi Arabia are two pillars of Islamic world. Two powers in the west of Asia. “There are different commonalities between two countries. Of course, there are differences between their political approaches. The main point is that Iran should accept Saudi Arabia as it is and Saudi Arabia should except Iran as it is. We look at Saudi Arabia and other nations respectfully. Not to interfere in their internal issue is a basic principle in our foreign policy,” he added.

Earlier, Iran and Saudi Arabia signed a China-brokered agreement to restore diplomatic relations, ending a seven-year dispute. “The three countries expressed their keenness to exert all efforts towards enhancing regional and international peace and security,” according to a statement signed by senior representatives from China, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

On Thursday, in a response by India on its reaction to the China-brokered reconciliation agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran, it said that New Delhi had always been in favor of “dialogue and diplomacy”.

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