Interview: Xi's message to Arab summit shows strong base for firm Sino-Arab ties, official says

Source:Xinhua 2019-04-03

  KHARTOUM, April 2 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping's congratulatory message to the 30th Arab League (AL) Summit shows a strong base for the firm relations between China and Arab countries, Ali Yousif, executive director of the Arab-Chinese Friendship Societies' League, an AL affiliate based in Sudan, said on Monday.

  "The Chinese president's message reaffirmed China's commitment to standing alongside its Arab friends under all these challenges, and it shows that the Arab nation has a true old friend which is China," Yousif told Xinhua in an interview.

  Xi's message was sent on Sunday to Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi, the rotating AL president who presided over the 30th AL Summit held in the Tunisian capital of Tunis.

  In his message, Xi praised the AL's efforts to promote peace, stability and development in the Middle East, and recalled the agreement between the two sides in last July to establish a future-oriented strategic partnership of comprehensive cooperation and common development, which was a new starting point for Sino-Arab cooperation.

  The message was very important in terms of content and timing, Yousif said.

  "The timing of the message is important because it came just ahead of one of the most important Arab summits that is convened under extraordinary circumstances and great challenges facing the Arab nation and lasting issues in Arab countries such as Syria, Yemen and Libya," he said.

  Yousif further pointed to the depth and strength of the Sino-Arab relations, which he called firm and progressive.

  China has consistently supported the recognition of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people in establishing their independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital, he said.

  In the meantime, Yousif stressed that Arab countries have a great role to play in the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China.

  "The initiative represents an important mechanism for cooperation, provides huge development projects, ensures flow of investments into the Arab countries, and provides sources of funds through the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank," he said.

  It also creates for Arab countries opportunities that help achieve regional integration and communications through roads and railway lines, he said.

  "The communication between the Chinese people and the Arab peoples must be enhanced, the cultural cooperation between the two sides must be increased, and the language barriers should be broken through focusing on teaching the Chinese language in the Arab countries and teaching the Arabic language in China," he added.

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