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China to continue to defend rights of Arab world, says Chinese FM
 


Ramy Salama

Doha

CHINA'S Foreign Minister Wang Yi has stressed his country's steadfast support to the Arab countries in defending their rights, as exemplified by China's support of the Palestinian cause.

Wang Yi noted that this is an important factor in the friendly and fruitful relations between the two sides, which continue to go from strength to strength.

Speaking at the 7th ministerial meeting of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum on Thursday, the Chinese Minister stressed his country's support for the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian State as well as the pursuit of a political dialogue in Syria, Yemen and Libya.

"China consistently supports the Arab countries in defending their legitimate rights, especially in the Palestinian case, and will not permit its marginalisation given that it is so essential to peace in the Middle East; and especially since the biggest threat to peace lies in the loss of hope of a people," he added.

The Foreign Minister noted that the Forum coincides with the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Arab countries and China, while underlining the extent of the advances in these relations, especially given that China currently enjoys relations on the strategic level with seven Arab countries, including Qatar, and is the Arab region's second largest trading partner.

For his part, Secretary-General of the Arab League Nabil Elaraby stressed the significance of the 7th round of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum, which convenes every two years, especially given that it follows closely on the recent visit by China's President, Xi Jinping to a number of Arab countries, and the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, in January.

"During his visit, China's President proposed a number of important initiatives which served to outline the future course of Arab-Chinese relations, and expressed their inherent promise. Today we are responsible for translating these proposals into a practical programme of cooperation which would develop relations between the two sides to their full potential," Elaraby said.

Elaraby stated that whereas economic exchange between the Arab countries and China had last year seen a decrease over the previous year notably due to the lowering of oil prices, barring oil, trade between the two sides had indeed seen an increase last year.

"The 'One Belt-One Road'initiative proposed by China's President, and the extent of support it received from a number of Arab countries played a big part in bolstering cooperation between the two sides, which manifested in terms of an increase in China's investments in the Arab countries," he added.


 
 

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