China-Arab Forum Highlights Desire for Stronger Ties, Says Arab League Chief

"China is a developing economic power and has a great ability to innovate, provide advanced technology, and present many inspirations to the Arab world, which deserves our great attention," said Secretary-General of the League of Arab States Ahmed Aboul-Gheit.

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Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit attends the press conference after the conclusion of the 33rd Arab League Summit held in Manama, Bahrain, May 16, 2024. (Xinhua/Wang Haizhou)

 Secretary-General of the League of Arab States (AL) Ahmed Aboul-Gheit said the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum reflects a common desire to build “strong relations,” stressing that the relationship between the two sides is growing stronger.

“The forum has linked China and the Arab countries with a steady relationship through regular meetings. The forum is held every two years at the level of foreign ministers, and once a year at the level of deputy ministers and senior officials,” Aboul-Gheit told Xinhua in a recent interview.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, and the 10th ministerial meeting of the forum is taking place in Beijing.

He noted that China has invited a number of leaders of Arab countries to participate in this conference, which “enhances the relationship between the two sides.”

“I attended the forum in 2020 in Beijing, where all the Arab foreign ministers were at the meeting. The discussions between the two sides were intense and warm, reflecting a common desire to build a strong relationship,” Aboul-Gheit said.

The Arab League chief noted that the forum is a multifaceted boost to China-Arab relations, ranging from deepening political and economic cooperation to promoting cultural exchanges.

He also pointed out that the forum has led to more dialogue initiatives on promoting practical cooperation between China and the Arab countries, such as the first China-Arab States Summit successfully held in Riyadh in December 2022.

Aboul-Gheit said China is willing to strengthen relations with the Arab countries, and the latter need to be more open to China.

“China is a developing economic power and has a great ability to innovate, provide advanced technology, and present many inspirations to the Arab world, which deserves our great attention,” he added.

The AL chief highlighted the importance of periodic follow-ups on implementing these plans to ensure that cooperation progresses. “The China-Arab States Cooperation Forum has an executive program that follows up on all decisions and declarations and seeks to implement them as much as possible,” he said.

Regarding the future development prospects of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum, Aboul-Gheit said that the most important thing for both sides is to commit to implementing what is agreed upon.

In November 2023, China and Jordan signed a memorandum of understanding on jointly promoting the construction of the Belt and Road. With this, China has signed Belt and Road cooperation agreements with all 22 Arab nations.

“All Arab countries are members of the Belt and Road Initiative, and it plays an important role in enhancing Arab-China cooperation,” the AL chief noted.

Speaking about joint efforts to build an Arab-China community with a shared future in the new era, Aboul-Gheit said that “there is a sense of well-grounded mutual trust, and the two sides are bound by win-win cooperation aiming at common interests.”

He praised the existence of 19 working mechanisms within the framework of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, stressing that these mechanisms are the results of hard work.

“This means that there are 19 sectors in which work is being done to enhance cooperation, such as the sectors of culture, women’s rights, trade, production, ports, etc. These are extremely important areas which require a lot of endeavor, innovation, and cooperation between experts on both sides and the commitment to the implementation of these mechanisms,” the AL chief said.

To promote people-to-people exchanges, he stressed the importance of translating books into Chinese and Arabic, and hosting cultural activities to foster dynamic cultural relations.

Xinhua News Agency

Founded in 1931, Xinhua News Agency is one of the largest news organizations in the world, with over 10,000 employees across the globe. As the main source of news and information for China, Xinhua plays a key role in shaping the country's media landscape and communicating its perspectives to the world. The agency produces a wide range of content, including text news articles, photos, videos, and social media posts, in both Chinese and English, and its reports are widely used by media organizations around the world. Xinhua also operates several international bureaus, including in key capitals like Washington, D.C., Moscow, and London, to provide in-depth coverage of global events.

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