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Sunday, 12 March 2023

Saudi + Iran agree to restore diplomatic relations

Riyadh + Tehran to normalize ties in landmark China-brokered pact: Bitter regional foes Saudi Arabia and Iran have agreed to restore diplomatic ties in a landmark agreement brokered by China. The pact will see the two countries reopen embassies within two months and reactivate a security cooperation agreement, according to a joint statement. The agreement came following four days of talks in Beijing between the three countries. Saudi Arabia and Iran ended ties in 2016 after Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran after Riyadh executed a popular Shi’te cleric.

The US was nowhere to be seen: The agreement is another sign of a shifting geopolitical climate in the Middle East, marking China’s emergence as a major player in the region and the US entirely absent from the conversation.

Egypt gives its backing: Egypt’s Foreign Ministry voiced its support for the move and expressed hope that it would improve regional stability.

ALSO WORTH KNOWING THIS MORNING- Bowing to US pressure, Turkey blocks sanctioned goods en route to Russia: Turkey began blocking the transit of US and EU-sanctioned goods to Russia from the beginning of the month without a prior warning. (Bloomberg)

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