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Number Seven Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty Nine - 16 March 2023
Iran Daily - Number Seven Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty Nine - 16 March 2023 - Page 9

Stability, the condition of economic cooperation in West Asia

Ebarhim Beheshti

Staff writer
 The Iran-Saudi Arabia agreement, brokered by China, to normalize relations is of great importance. The fact that most countries welcomed this move shows its significance. Most analysts emphasize the security and political consequences of the deal, however, the normalization of bilateral ties seems to have positive effects on the economic field for both states as well as the Persian Gulf region and West Asia.
The West Asian region is considered one of the most important security and economic regions due to its geopolitical location and the availability of energy as well as the large consumption market. However, unlike other areas such as East Asia or Europe, the region lacks major economic cooperation or key economic pacts. On the other hand, in the absence of large and systematic economic cooperation between the countries of the region, the transregional powers fill this void, reaping significant benefits.
This is largely due to conflicts among the regional countries and the occurrence of persistent instabilities, which have ruled out the possibility of convergence and economic cooperation at the regional level and in the form of large agreements.
By provoking the disputes among the regional countries, some transregional powers also fuel instabilities, making the states spend their capacities and funds on astronomical purchases of military equipment.
As two big powers in the region, Iran and Saudi Arabia can play a key role in shaping the region's outlook. And the more the range of tensions between the two increases, the negative consequences may affect other countries in addition to Tehran and Riyadh. As the ramification of the conflict is evident in the situation of Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon today, and in the absence of stable governments in these countries, their economic condition is also not satisfying.
Now, with the Saudi-Iranian rapprochement, it is expected that a large part of the differences leading to instability in the region will change direction, providing the ground for more political and security cooperation.
Facilitating the situation for establishing security and stability in the region is the main passage to economic cooperation and even the conclusion of regional economic agreements.

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