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Forum focuses on China-Arab strategic ties

The 9th ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum is held via video link on July 6, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

President says mutual support reflects close bonds, cooperation between them

China and Arab countries should enhance strategic communications and promote cooperation in all areas, including the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, President Xi Jinping said on Monday.

Xi made the remark in a congratulatory letter to the ninth ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, held by videoconference.

Xi said that since the pandemic’s outbreak, China and Arab countries have stuck together and helped each other. Their mutual support and strengthened cooperation are a vivid reflection of the close bonds between them, he said.

The two sides require more cooperation to overcome difficulties and move forward, given the situation, he added.

Xi said he hoped the two sides will meet in order to enhance strategic coordination and promote cooperation in various fields to bring more benefits for their people.

He noted that he announced the establishment of a strategic partnership between China and Arab states at the eighth ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum in 2018.

Xi said his proposal to build a China-Arab community with a shared future to promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind was enthusiastically greeted by Arab countries.

In the past two years, China and Arab countries have enhanced coordination and the China-Arab strategic partnership, featuring comprehensive cooperation, joint development and future orientation, has been deepened, Xi said.

The ninth ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum was co-chaired by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Safadi. Foreign ministers of members of the League of Arab States and league Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit attended the meeting.

Speaking at the meeting, Wang said that the traditional friendship between China and Arab countries will definitely be elevated and China-Arab strategic cooperation will be brought to a new level after the COVID-19 pandemic.

China has assisted Arab countries in procuring anti-virus materials in China and donated more than 1 million test kits and over 13 million masks, Wang said. It has also held videoconferences of health experts with 21 Arab countries and dispatched medical teams to eight Arab countries, he said.

On Sunday, a shipment of anti-COVID medical aid from the Chinese government, including200,000 disposable masks and 9,000 N95 masks, was delivered to the Arab League at the organization’s headquarters in Cairo.

Wang said the two sides have accelerated joint construction of the Belt and Road with many key projects being successfully implemented. Trade volume between the two sides in 2019 saw a year-on-year increase of 9 percent, with expansion of bilateral investment and high-tech cooperation, he said.

Wang thanked Arab nations for their firm support of China’s rightful proposals at the United Nations Human Rights Council, saying that China believes Arab countries will continue to take a just position on issues concerning China’s internal affairs. China firmly supports Arab countries to safeguard their own political security and social stability and choose their own paths of development, he said.

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