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Beijing sends envoy to Riyadh, Tehran after row

7 January 2016 13:26


China has sent an envoy to Saudi Arabia and Iran to discuss the situation in the region after Riyadh recently cut its diplomatic relations with Tehran.

“Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Zhang Ming is currently on a visit to Saudi Arabia and plans to pay a visit to Iran,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing on Thursday.

“He will discuss the situation in the region with officials of Saudi Arabia and Iran,” she said.

“We hope that relations between the influential countries of the region will improve and the parties will keep up regional peace and stability,” she added.

On Sunday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir declared the severing of diplomatic relations with Iran following Tehran’s strong condemnation of the execution of top cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

The move followed demonstrations in front of the Saudi embassy in Tehran and its consulate in the northeastern city of Mashhad by angry protesters.

Iran says Saudi Arabia’s severance of ties with the Islamic Republic is part of Riyadh’s attempts to divert attention from its domestic problems and also the Nimr execution consequences.

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