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China a strategic partner for the Arab world: Emir



The Emir His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani has said that Arab-Chinese relations are deeply rooted, dating back to hundreds of years and that the deep historic close ties have witnessed steady development.

In a speech delivered on his behalf by the Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani before the Seventh Session of the Ministerial Meeting of China-Arab Cooperation Forum in Doha on Thursday, the Emir said that the China-Arab cooperation has achieved sustained growth. The results have been fruitful in political, economic, security and energy fields thanks to both sides'keenness to enhance and broaden prospects of cooperation for the good of their peoples.

The Emir added that the Arab world considers China as a strategic partner and attaches great importance to bilateral relations appropriate with its international rank, economic weight and efficient political role in the international arena.

He said that the forum is the clearest evidence of both sides'keenness to continue supporting these relations.

The Emir expressed hope that the forum will develop effective mechanisms to speed up the pace of Arab- Chinese cooperation, overcome obstacles, enhance the role of public and private sectors in the Arab world and China as well as encourage them to build economic and investment partnerships based on sound and solid foundations.

"We see in today's meeting an opportunity to discuss means to enhance cooperation and coordination among us in order to meet the challenges that threaten peace, security and stability in the world and to reach peaceful solutions to the regional and international issues, including the Arab-Israeli conflict, the phenomenon of terrorism, extremism and issues of sustainable development," the Emir said.

The Emir affirmed Qatar's support for the initiative of building the Silk Road Economic Belt as put forward by China's President Xi Jinping.

"We agree with China that the essence of this initiative lies in peaceful dialogue and cooperation among civilisations, openness and tolerance, mutual benefit and common prosperity," he said.

Meanwhile, speaking at a joint press conference with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and the Arab League Secretary-General Dr. Nabil Elaraby at the conclusion of the forum, Qatar's foreign minister said the meeting was held in a positive atmosphere, where steps that have been taken in the process of joint cooperation between the Chinese and Arab sides were reviewed alongside an exchange of perspectives on them in a spirit of openness and transparency.

He added that the forum emphasised the importance of deepening the strategic cooperation, and promote Arab- Chinese exchanges.

The minister noted that the meeting also dwelt on the achievements made in the field of cooperation.

"There is tremendous desire on both sides to accomplish more considering the enormous capacities and potential existing between the Arab States and China as well as open new horizons for this cooperation and investment which serves our common interests," he added.

Sheikh Mohammed announced that both Doha Declaration and the Executive Programme for the years 2016-2018 had been unanimously approved.

He said that these documents contain a number of items that reflect the shared visions that address the areas of Sino-Arab cooperation in various political, economic, cultural and scientific fields.

The foreign minister added that the meeting discussed the vision of the Chinese President on the issue of building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century aimed at strengthening cooperation in traditional areas such as energy, economy and trade, investment, infrastructure, and that the Arab countries were naturally partners in such a project.

The minister added that Qatar was one of the first countries that supported the 'Belt and Road' initiative proposed by the Chinese president, stressing that the Qatari - Chinese relations are supported by the efforts of the leadership of the two countries, which are constant in all economic and political spheres, especially in energy, culture, sports and environment.

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