China calls for calm between Saudi Arabia, Iran

January 12, 2016 7:21 am 

BEIJING, Jan. 11 — A Chinese envoy called for "calm and restraint" between Saudi Arabia and Iran during a visit to both countries last week, said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei on Monday.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Ming paid a visit to Saudi Arabia and Iran from Jan. 6 to 10, as tension grew between the two countries.

Saudi Arabia's execution of 47 individuals on terrorism charges on Jan. 2, including prominent Shiite cleric Namir al-Namir, caused angry protests in Shiite-dominated Iran and an attack on the Saudi diplomatic mission in Tehran.

Sunni-majority Saudi Arabia then cut diplomatic ties with Iran, leading some Gulf allies to either follow suit or downgrade their relations with the Islamic Republic.

In an attempt to defuse the situation, china sent Zhang Ming to Saudi Arabia and Iran for an exchange of views, said the Foreign Ministry last week.

In Saudi Arabia, Zhang met with senior Saudi officials and called for calm and restraint, said Hong.

While in Iran, Zhang reiterated the same wish, adding china hopes for the maintenance of peace and stability in the region. (PNA/Xinhua)

RMA/JFM/SSC

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