China’s mediation between Saudi Arabia and Iran not ‘adverse’ to US interests: WH
The White House said on Monday the US was not in a position to take on the role of a mediator between Saudi Arabia and Iran but added that China’s efforts to “promote de-escalation” in the region were not “adverse” to American interests.
Saudi Arabia and Iran announced on Friday a landmark agreement brokered by China to re-establish diplomatic ties and reopen embassies after seven years of heightened tensions, backing opposing sides in regional conflicts and supporting differing parties in political rows across the Middle East.
Asked about how Washington viewed Beijing’s role in brokering the normalization agreement, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said: “So, from our perspective, even as we have put a lot of diplomatic muscle into trying to help promote de-escalation, as with the Yemen truce, having other countries like China promote de-escalation is not fundamentally adverse to US interests and frankly it’s in a way rowing in the same direction.”
He added: “We were not in a position to be a mediator between Saudi Arabia and Iran given our relationship with those two countries. We never have been, and we aren’t in such a position today.”
However, Sullivan stressed that the US considered the understanding reached between Iran and Saudi Arabia as a “positive” development for the Middle East. He said: “We think this is something positive in so far that it promotes a goal the US has been promoting in the region, which is de-escalation and reduction in tensions. That is a good thing.”
He also said that Riyadh was keeping Washington in the loop with regards to the developments of the negotiations: “We were in close touch with Saudi Arabia as they were approaching and engaging in those talks, and they were keeping us apprised of their progress along the way.”