US intelligence agencies have concluded that China has transferred missile technology to Saudi Arabia to help the desert kingdom build its own ballistic missiles in addition to the actual missiles it has bought from Beijing in the past, CNN reported on Thursday, citing sources.
Several US intelligence organizations have assessed that Saudi Arabia is already making its own ballistic missiles using technology supplied by Beijing, according to the report. The broadcaster said it had seen US satellite images identifying one Saudi location at least where the missiles are being made, the report added.
This intelligence has been circulated across the US government this year including to officials at the National Security Council, CNN said.
The Saudi initiative could add further complications to the Biden administration’s efforts to revive the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran to restrain Tehran’s programs nuclear, the report noted.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs told CNN in a statement that Beijing and Riyadh were comprehensive strategic partners and continued to cooperate in all areas, including military trade.
In July this year, foreign ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) nations approved a decision to grant the status of dialogue partners to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin had stated.
“The Foreign Ministers Council signed decisions on granting this status to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, which will be submitted for approval by the Council of Heads of State,” Muhriddin told a briefing after the SCO meeting in Dushanbe.
The foreign ministers also discussed the results of the SCO’s activities over 20 years, tasks for further cooperation, as well as topical international and regional issues, the minister went on.
“It was stated at the meeting that over two decades, the SCO, relying on the ‘Shanghai spirit’, has asserted itself as an authoritative interstate organization of a new type and an influential participant in the system of international relations,” the diplomat stated …
The SCO Ministerial Council, he continued, paid special attention to Afghanistan, where the situation has intensified after the withdrawal of foreign troops.
“The heads of delegations issues of deepening further cooperation in the economic area. The ministers adopted the Plan of Joint Measures as a basis to overcome the negative socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.
The SCO is a permanent inter-governmental and international organization that is currently composed of eight member states: China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Turkey are six dialogue partners. The SCO mainly focuses on regional security issues, the fight against regional terrorism, ethnic separatism, and religious extremism.
Earlier, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud held a meeting in March this year with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, and welcomed Beijing’s active efforts to promote peace and stability in the Middle East.
Wang started his Middle East tour, which includes official visits to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, as well as a working visit to Oman.
“The Saudi side welcomes the active role of China in protecting security in the Middle East region and welcomes China’s initiatives in these areas,” Farhan Al Saud said.
The visit of the Chinese foreign minister to Riyadh came days after Saudi Arabia proposed a widespread UN-sponsored ceasefire in neighboring conflict-torn Yemen. Beijing has already welcomed the initiative of Saudi Arabia.
- Via Sputnik News Agency.
- Follow EurAsian Times on Google News