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Blinken Welcomes Iran-Saudi Agreement

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits a UN Logistics Center Warehouse in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, March 15, 2023.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed optimism Wednesday about the re-establishment of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

“If this agreement actually bears out, and particularly if Iran follows through on the commitments that it’s apparently made, again, that would be positive,” Blinken said during a news conference at Addis Ababa University during a visit to Ethiopia.

“From our perspective, anything that can help reduce tensions, avoid conflict, and curb in any way dangerous or destabilizing actions by Iran is a good thing,” Blinken added.

The top U.S. diplomat noted China’s role in facilitating the agreement, saying, “that’s a good thing.”

“I think it’s valuable that countries, where they can, take action, take responsibility for advancing security, for advancing peaceful relations,” he said.

After the agreement was announced last week, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters the deal could help reduce tension in the region, especially in Yemen, where the two countries have supported opposing sides during years of conflict.

“We welcome any efforts to help end the war in Yemen and deescalate tensions in the Middle East region,” Jean-Pierre said.