TEHRAN – Syrian President Bashar Assad has welcomed a Chinese-brokered deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia to restore their diplomatic relations, saying the deal is a “wonderful surprise.”
“The announcement of the resumption of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia with Chinese mediation is a wonderful surprise,” President Assad said in an interview with the Arabic service of Russia Today.
He also said that the Syria-Iran relationship is no longer a problem in the region. “The talk that there is a Syrian-Iranian relationship that must be severed is no longer being raised with Syria,” he said.
Assad added, “There is a four-decade-old loyalty between Syria and Iran. This issue is no longer a problem in the Arab arena.”
He continued, “The Saudi-Iranian agreement must reflect positively on the region in general, and it will undoubtedly affect Syria. how? It’s hard to tell now.”
Assad said that Syria is open to bilateral cooperation with Arab countries, and that it does not see returning to the Arab League as an end in itself or more important than bilateral relations.
Assad made it clear that his country is no longer an arena for the Saudi-Iranian conflict, as was the case during some stages, and that Riyadh took a different direction in its relationship with Damascus years ago.
Responding to a question about bilateral relations with Arab countries and the possibility of his meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Assad said, “This is another issue.”
He pointed out that Damascus does not see that bilateral cooperation is less important than returning to the Arab League. Assad also noted that returning to the League is not an end in itself if Syria is not a place of consensus and not a place of division, stressing that the goal is joint Arab action.
He said the resumption of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia is a positive development.
The Chinese-brokered deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia was announced on March 10. They issued a joint trilateral statement saying that Tehran and Riyadh will reopen embassies within two months.
According to the joint statement put out by Iran, Saudi Arabia, and China, “The three countries announce that an agreement has been reached between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran, that includes an agreement to resume diplomatic relations between them and re-open their embassies and missions within a period not exceeding two months, and the agreement includes their affirmation of the respect for the sovereignty of states and the non-interference in internal affairs of states.”
The statement added, “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.”
Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, travelled Thursday to the United Arab Emirates in line with Iran’s new diplomatic push.
In Abu Dhabi, Shamkhani met UAE National Security Advisor Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed, and UAE President Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed.
Original News : https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/483021/Assad-hails-Iran-Saudi-deal-as-wonderful-surprise
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