Two giants at a table (Opinion)

Recently, China has played an effective role at the international level by using its diplomatic channels to eliminate the animosity of the two oil-rich Islamic countries. Recently, China has used its backdoor diplomacy to bring Saudi Arabia and Iran to the table, stressing the need to rein the growing rivalry between the two countries and avoid any future war.

Negotiation is very important to avoid the situation. And the surprising thing is that it has actually been seen that Saudi Arabia and Iran will restore their diplomatic relations in the next two months and this has been announced at the official level. For the past few years, there had been an air of hostility between the two countries and the gulf between the two countries was widening, which could turn into a war situation at any time. In 2016, after the execution of a Shiite leader in Saudi Arabia, an attack on the existing Saudi embassy in Iran led to Saudi Arabia recalling its ambassador from there, ending diplomatic relations between the two countries and laying a new foundation for hostility.

However, China, sensing the danger and for its own wider interest, has played an active role in restoring diplomatic relations between the two countries. Iran and Saudi Arabia, two oil-rich Islamic countries, have been embroiled in ideological differences as well as proxy wars and cold wars for long time, and seem to be affecting the peace of the Middle East. Under the proxy war, the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen are at war with Saudi Arabia and have been involved in disrupting the peace of Saudi Arabia on various occasions. These Houthi rebels have attacked the oil installations in Saudi Arabia many times and have affected the oil supply in the whole world to a great extent.

Saudi Arabia believes that the Houthi rebels have always been supported by Iran and that this proxy war is not limited to Yemen, but its influence has been growing in the Middle East especially in Lebanon and Syria. If we look at the characteristics of this proxy war, Saudi Arabia supports the Lebanese government, while Hezbollah, a political and military party under the auspices of the Iranian government, seems to be working against the Lebanese state and Saudi Arabia. However, it is widely believed that after the restoration of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the proxy war will end and the Middle East will not only be calm but also develop. At a time when Mohammed bin Salman is putting Saudi Arabia in a new direction and wants to base its economy on more lines than oil, at such a time they need to get out of the influence of the United States and the European Union. Establishing good relations with neighboring countries is the most important link in this chain.

Likewise, the bewildered, Iran, which is suffering from severe economic crisis and is isolated due to US sanctions, needs to soften its foreign policy and establish relations with other countries to make them convince of itself. And by establishing relations with Saudi Arabia, Iran can gain an important position in the bloc of Islamic countries. In this whole situation, Chinese hegemony has become prominent in this region because it is clear that the influence of the United States is disappearing from this deal and now China is able to handle international political and military affairs.

Peace in the Middle East will not only benefit countries like Syria, Iran, Iraq and Yemen, but it will also enable China to successfully complete the One Belt One Road project. From this situation, Pakistan can also benefit from the fact that if Pakistan now wants to buy oil from Iran, Saudi Arabia may not take a tough position. Also, this will reduce Shia-Sunni riots and help curb sectarianism.

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