Egypt hopes Saudi-Iranian deal would ease tensions in the region: Foreign ministry

Ahram Online , Friday 10 Mar 2023

Egypt is following with interest the recent agreement to resume diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran and hopes "it will ease tensions and achieve the aspirations of the peoples in the region," according to a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday.

Cairo
The HQ of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry in Cairo. Photo : Al-Ahram

 

"Egypt hopes the agreement will ease tensions in the region and contribute to stabilising and preserving the capabilities of  Arab national security," read the statement.

Egypt also hopes that agreement "would achieve the aspirations of the peoples in the region toward prosperity, development, and stability," added the statement.

Earlier on Friday, Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to reestablish diplomatic relations and reopen embassies after years of tensions between the two countries in a deal that was brokered by China.

Dr. Musaed bin Muhammad Al-Aiban headed the Saudi delegation at the talks, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The agreement includes a commitment to respect the sovereignty of countries and non-interference in their internal affairs, according to SPA.

The foreign ministers of both countries will meet to activate the agreement, arrange the exchange of ambassadors, and discuss ways to strengthen relations.

Additionally, the security cooperation agreement signed in 2001 and the general agreement for cooperation in various fields signed in 1998 will be activated.

The three countries - Saudi Arabia, Iran and China -  expressed their commitment to enhancing regional and international peace and security, added SPA.

Regional & international reactions

Iraq welcomed the agreement reached between Saudi Arabia and Iran, saying it would improve regional cooperation and fulfill the aspirations of all parties.

"A new page has been opened in diplomatic relations between the two countries," said a statement from the foreign ministry of Iraq that was published by the Iraqi News Agency (INA) on Friday.

The statement noted that "the efforts made by the Iraqi government through Baghdad hosting the dialogue rounds between the two sides" paved the way for reconciliation.

It added that these Iraqi efforts "established a solid base for the dialogues that followed through the Sultanate of Oman and the People's Republic of China, leading to the moment of agreement." \

Shortly after the news broke, former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett took to his official Twitter account on Friday to express his concerns regarding the renewal of relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Bennett said: "The renewal of relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran is a serious and dangerous development for Israel and is a political victory for Iran. This is a fatal blow to the effort to build a regional coalition against Iran."

His remarks reflect concerns in Israel that Iran's regional influence constitutes a threat to Israel's security.

Meanwhile, a White House National Security Council spokesperson said the US is aware of reports that Iran and Saudi Arabia have resumed diplomatic ties, but referred further details to the Saudis.

"We welcome any efforts to help end the war in Yemen and de-escalate tensions in Mideast."

"De-escalation and diplomacy together with deterrence are key pillars of the policy President Biden outlined during his visit to the region last year," the White House spokesperson told Reuters.

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