Secretary-General of the Arab League Dr. Nabil Al Arabi on Thursday said that holding the Seventh Session of the Ministerial Meeting of China-Arab Cooperation Forum at the ministerial level is of special importance as it comes after the historic visit by the Chinese President Xi Jinping to the Arab League headquarters in January, during which he put forward important proposals for the future of Sino-Arab cooperation and its promising prospects.
In his speech before the Seventh Session of the Ministerial Meeting of the Forum, Al Arabi stressed the Arab League's responsibility to translate the ideas proposed by the Chinese President to concrete programs of cooperation aimed at developing relations between both sides and upgrading them to the level of the aspirations of their peoples.
He urged participants to implement the decimal development plan of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum 2014-2024; complete the momentum achieved at the sixth session of the forum held in Beijing two years ago; and work together towards promoting development and prosperity of the Arab and Chinese peoples.
The Secretary-General renewed the Arab position to support the peaceful reunification of China, stressing keenness to provide ideas, proposals and programs to enhance the Sino-Arab cooperation.
Despite the drop in the volume of trade exchange between the two sides last year from the year before, attributed mainly to lower oil prices, the non-oil trade volume achieved relatively a higher level in terms of size and quantity during the same period, Dr. Al Arabi said, noting that the Arab countries' support for the initiative of building the Silk Road Economic Belt put forward by the Chinese President has a deep impact in strengthening the bonds of cooperation between the two sides and raising the volume of investments in development and many vital areas.
On Arab issues and crises, the Secretary-General of the Arab League expressed regret that the Palestinian issue is still in a state of 'deadlock' in the absence of any serious initiatives to reach a just and comprehensive solution, praising the Chinese firm and supportive position for the Palestinian cause and looking forward to more support from the Chinese 'friends' to achieve a just and comprehensive settlement.
In this context, Dr. Al Arabi expressed hope that China would play an important role at the Paris Conference.
On the Syrian issue, he said that five years after its beginning, the crisis still represents a challenge for the international community at the political and humanitarian levels, hoping that the ongoing efforts would lead to the formation of a governing transitional body on the basis of the final communique of the 2012 Geneva I Conference and the UN Security Council's resolutions.
On the Libyan situation, the AL Secretary-General said that the situation has seen a significant development in the political transition process to facilitate the signing of the Libyan political agreement, calling on all Libyan political parties and the international community to provide assistance and full support for the Government of the national reconciliation.
On Yemen, he renewed the Arab League's support for the legitimate government in Yemen represented by President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, urging all Yemeni parties to settle their differences through dialogue and consultation.
Terrorism has become a global phenomenon that poses a serious challenge to international peace and security, he said, while emphasizing the importance of strengthening international cooperation to combat it and eradicate its roots in the region through a comprehensive approach that addresses all its aspects.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi stressed his country continued support to the Arab countries in defending their legitimate rights and interests, especially the question of Palestine.
The Chinese Foreign Minister, in his speech to the Seventh Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum, reiterated his country's support for the establishment of a fully sovereign Palestinian state on the 1967 border with East Jerusalem as its capital, as well as its backing for the Arab states to make the Middle East a zone free of weapons of mass destruction, and to building a constructive political dialogue in Syria, Yemen and Libya.
He stressed the need for the continuation of the peace process, saying that China welcomes an initiative to hold an international meeting to support the Palestinian cause, to present a new international plan for peace, and to support Palestinian efforts in the UN with regards to the provision of international protection for the Palestinian people in the occupied territories.
The Chinese Foreign Minister added that this forum is a clear message to the world that China stands with the Palestinian side and it shows its keenness to coordinate with the Arab side to resolve differences through dialogue and push forward peaceful resolution of political disputes.
He expressed China's readiness to cooperate with the Arab side to completely eliminate all manifestations of ethnic and religious discrimination, and to combat, uproot and counter extremist ideas as well as cooperate with the Arab side to strengthen stability through law enforcement, police training and in the field of Internet security.
He announced that China is ready to grant 6000 training opportunities and 6000 scholarships as well as invite 60 Arab religious figures to visit China in the framework of joint cooperation between the two sides.
This year, he said, will see the launch of three major joint projects in the cultural field, namely the China-Arab studies for reform and development center, the joint China-Arab program to train translators and joint research between China and Arab intellectual institutions, calling at the same time for accelerating the pace of implementation of scientific and technological partnership and the establishment of joint national laboratories program in reproductive health and disease control and prevention as well as in the transfer of technology.