BEIJING, January 9. /TASS/. Beijing and Moscow are in close coordination to maintain stability in the Middle East, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang said at a briefing on Thursday.
"China is keeping a close eye on the situation in the Middle East. We also maintain close contact with all parties, including Russia. Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his [Russian] counterpart Sergey Lavrov earlier held a telephone conversation, exchanging views on cooperation, particularly within the UN Security Council. China and Russia are strategic partners and the UN Security Council’s permanent members, we have similar stances [on the situation in the Middle East]," he pointed out.
According to Geng Shuang, Beijing and Moscow "maintain close contact and coordination that adds a positive vibe to the changing geopolitical landscape." "China remains ready for close coordination with Russia in order to maintain international law and regional stability, it also plays a responsible and constructive role in processes taking place in the Middle East," the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman emphasized.
Blaming US pullout from Iran nuke deal for mounting Mideast tensions
The Trump administration’s decision to quit the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program has contributed to the soaring tensions engulfing the Middle East, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson told the press briefing on Thursday.
"Currently, there is a trend towards escalation in the Middle East, and the Iranian nuclear program is facing serious challenges. The United States’ unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA ignores international agreements and obligations, and hampers the implementation [of the accord] by other parties and contributes to mounting tensions," he said, commenting on the remarks by US President Donald Trump who criticized the JCPOA and urged Russia and other countries to abandon the deal and hammer out a new one.
The diplomat also noted that "the JCPOA is the result of an arduous multilateral endeavor, which has been approved by the UN Security Council." "It is also a substantial part of the international system of non-proliferation and preservation of global peace and stability," he stressed.
"China will continue to maintain contacts with other parties and will work to ease tensions in the Middle East," he added.
In his address to the nation on Wednesday, President Donald Trump once again criticized the Iranian nuclear deal calling on Russia and other countries to abandon it and draw up a new agreement. Trump announced that the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia and China should "break away from the remnants of the Iran deal" and "work together toward making a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place." He pledged that "the United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime." "These powerful sanctions will remain until Iran changes its behavior," Trump pointed out, adding, however, that "the United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it." Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi, in turn, told TASS that Tehran believed its response was enough in terms of retaliation, and did not plan to take further military action.
Tensions in the Middle East escalated following a US drone strike near Baghdad's airport on January 3, which killed General Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force. Iran targeted Iraq’s Ain Al-Asad air base and a facility in Erbil, which house US troops, in retaliation for the attack.