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Arab-China ties reach strategic level: FM

Ramy Salama


RELATIONS between China and the Arab countries have reached long-term and intense, strategic levels of cooperation, and exemplify the plentiful possibilities of 'South-South'trajectories of cooperation between developing countries, Minister of Foreign Affairs, HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al Thani has said.

Speaking during the 7th ministerial meeting of the Arab-Chinese Cooperation Forum on Thursday, the minister noted that the present gathering was but the latest link in the chain of relations between the two civilisations, and which extend into history.

"Relations between the Arab world and China have reached a strategic level, and so we must increase our efforts and coordination in all fields of mutual interest, at the forefront of which is development, climate change, nuclear energy, and the reform and development of the United Nations," he said.

"The common will of the Arab countries and China in finding a successful model of 'South-South'cooperation gives us the confidence to expect this forum to serve as a catalyst for sustainable development on both sides," the minister added.

Sheikh Mohammed noted the significant economic exchange which exists between the two sides, and which reached some $250 billion in 2015.

He further stressed the great potential for closer cooperation between China and the Arab countries, notably given the significant support which the latter have accorded to Chinese President Xi Jinping's 'One Belt-One Road'initiative to build the New Silk Road economic belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk route.

The foreign minister further praised China's support for a number of Arab causes and positions on the international level, at the forefront of which is the Palestinian cause.

He also emphasised that the international community must increase its efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis in a way which would end the sufferings of the Syrian people while maintaining the unity and sovereignty of Syrian territory.

The foreign minister said that achieving peace and security in the Arab region is fundamental to realising peace and security in the whole world.

On the sidelines of the session, Sheikh Mohammed met with Arab League Secretary-General Dr Nabil Elaraby, Sudanese Foreign minister Dr Ibrahim Ghandour, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Yemen Abdulmalik al Mekhlafi and Tunisia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Khemaies Jhinaoui.

The foreign minister also met Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al Malki,

Comoros Foreign Minister Abdoulkarim Mohamed and

Morrocan's Minister Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Mbarka Bouaida.


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