China’s Xi to visit Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran


BEIJING – Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran next week, Beijing’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday, as the world’s second-largest economy seeks greater diplomatic heft in a crucial and tense region.

In a statement, spokesman Lu Kang said that Xi would visit the three Middle Eastern countries over five days from Tuesday. The trip – Xi’s first to the region as president – comes amid mounting tensions over the war in Syria and after protesters ransacked and burned the Saudi Embassy in Tehran over the execution of a Shia cleric.