If Iran invited to China-PGCC meeting, Tehran will seriously consider it: diplomat

March 15, 2023 - 21:37

TEHRAN – A Foreign Ministry official says if Iran is invited to a joint China-Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGGC) meeting, the Islamic Republic will “seriously” study it, IRNA reported on Wednesday.

In recent days a report surfaced that China plans to hold joint meeting with the PGCC members with a participation of Iran.

Alireza Enayati, director of the Persian Gulf department at the Foreign Ministry, “If this issue is raised officially or an invitation is made, Iran will surely study it.”

Enayati was a member of the Iranian negotiating team who attended the intensive talks with the Saudis mediated by the Chinese.

After five days of talks in Beijing, Iran and China agreed to restore diplomatic ties, which had been cut in 2016. The talks were led by Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), and Saudi Arabian national security adviser Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban.

China's top diplomat, Wang Yi, described the deal as a victory for dialogue and peace.

Enayati said the agreement in China set the stage for cooperation and there is a hope that Iran and Saudi Arabia can interact with each other within the framework of “good neighborliness”.

There is a hope that “hand of friendship” between Iran and Saudi Arabia will create a “bright prospect” for cooperation, economic development, establishment of “peace and security” and “spread of security in the region,” the veteran diplomat told IRNA.

He added Iran hopes to establish and improve relations with neighbors and the countries in the region.

Beijing agreement is result of two years of talks in Baghdad and Muscat

Enayati, who is also assistant to the foreign minister, also said the Beijing accord is the “product” of two years of negotiations hosted by Baghdad and Muscat.

“I consider it necessary to insist that the Beijing negotiations that led to declaration of agreement to resume relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia is product of the negotiations of the last two years which took place in Baghdad and Oman.”

These negotiations “fully” paved the ground for such an agreement, he said. “Surely, if such efforts had not been made in the past, the ground for such a measure would not have been provided in Beijing.”

The diplomat also thanked the Chinese government and officials of the country for hosting and making arrangements for the talks.

Saudis sought negotiations about Yemen

Enayati also said the Saudi side sought dialogue about Yemen in the negotiations but the Islamic Republic has a clear stance on Yemen and believes that the conflict in the country is a “Yemeni issue” and the Yemenis themselves are aware of their problems and “know how to deal with the issue.”

He added, “We have always been insisting that the Yemen issue has a political solution.”

Venue of talks between Iranian, Saudi foreign ministers will be determined in coming days

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud are schedule to meet to implement the agreement made in Beijing and decide about the exchange of ambassadors between the two capitals.

On whether a “third person” will attend the meeting between the two chief diplomats, Enayati said, “It depends on the conditions or the place where the talks will take place.”

He said it is not still “exactly clear” where the talks will take place. The diplomat added he is of the opinion that the venue of the talks will be determined in the “future days”.

“The agreements have been made and now we have entered the implementation stage.”

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