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State Department Spox: U.S. Not Being Supplanted by China in Mideast as “Some Allege”

U.S. State Department Spokesperson Ned Price addressed the China-brokered deal for Saudi Arabi and Iran to restore diplomatic relation during the regular press briefing on March 13, 2023. Image via the U.S. Department of State.

The U.S. State Department dismissed suggestions that China’s brokering of a diplomatic thaw between Iran and Saudi Arabia reflects a diminishment of the United States’s influence in the Middle East. Spokesperson Ned Price told reporters that: “In any way you look at it, America is deeply engaged with the Middle East.”

Price said the U.S. is in favor of dialogue that reduces tensions in the region and that the Biden administration has supported earlier outreach by Oman and Iraq to bring the two together “every step of the way.” However, he refused to frame the deal as an example of Chinese leadership:

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