| 19 April 2024, Friday |

Iran’s Raisi to visit Beijing to revive ‘partnership’ with China

China’s Foreign Ministry announced Sunday that Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi will begin a three-day visit to China on Tuesday, at the invitation of President Xi Jinping.


Raisi’s trip to China comes after diplomatic tensions arising due to a Gulf-Chinese statement made last December.


The joint statement called on Iran to refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, ensure the peaceful nature of its nuclear program, and find a peaceful solution to the disputed ownership of three islands in the Strait of Hormuz.


Raisi’s visit, however, will focus on strengthening economic cooperation with China.


The state news agency IRNA also reported that during the trip, “cooperation documents” will be signed between the two countries, and Ebrahim Raisi will participate in a joint meeting of Iranian and Chinese businesses.


In turn, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed in a statement that Raisi is scheduled to visit from February 14-16, without disclosing further details.


Raisi and Xi met for the first time in September on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Uzbekistan, where the Iranian president called for strengthening cooperation between the two countries.


China had sent Vice Premier Hu Chunhua for a major meeting in Tehran last December, which was seen at the time as a sign that Beijing was distancing itself from the large-scale protests in Iran.


Unlike his previous visit in 2016, Xi did not stop in Iran during his tour of the region last December.


A joint statement between China and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries drew condemnation from Tehran.


The Gulf-Chinese statement emphasized the need for relations between Arab Gulf states and Iran to follow the principles of good neighborliness and non-interference in internal affairs of others.


It also promoted respect for the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of states, and resolving disputes by peaceful means.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat