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Chinese foreign minister to conclude West Asian tour

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Chinese foreign minister to conclude West Asian tour

China
Photo: EPA-EFE

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will today conclude a week-long trip to nations across West Asia.

On his tour, Wang visited Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman and Iran, with special focus placed on the latter visit to discuss the current state of Tehran’s nuclear program.

Central to Wang’s meeting in Tehran with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif was the signing of an economic and political agreement that brings Iran in line with Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, a global infrastructure project that looks to connect China to 70 other nations via new or improved land and sea trade routes. Wang also reiterated China’s support of the Iran nuclear deal and encouraged the US to be proactive in rejoining the agreement during the meeting.

While Wang stressed Iran’s independence in its relations with other countries, China has long been outspoken against US sanctions and the new Sino-Iranian treaty will greatly increase economic and political cooperation between Beijing and Tehran. Expect the US to move to reopen talks with Iran in an effort to revive the nuclear deal and stave off Chinese influence. Iran, however, is likely to hold firm in its demands that the US lift sanctions before a meeting is held.

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Photo: Sputnik/Sergei Savostyanov/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

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