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Yang Jiechi Attends and Addresses the Third Ministerial Meeting of China-Arab Cooperation Forum in Bahrain |
On May 21, 2008, the third ministerial meeting of China-Arab Cooperation Forum was held in the capital of Bahrain, Manama. Bahrain's Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Muhammad bin Mubarak bin Hamad al-Khalifa, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and foreign ministers or representatives from 22 Arab countries, as well as Secretary General of the Arab League Amr Moussa attended the meeting.
At the beginning of the meeting, all participants paid a one-minute silent tribute to the victims of the Wenchuan earthquake. The delegation heads from Arab countries expressed sincere condolences to China over the quake and spoke highly of the Chinese government's relief measures, pledging their support to the Chinese government and people for the relief efforts.
In his keynote speech delivered at the opening ceremony, Yang expressed heartfelt thanks to Arab countries for their condolences and assistance in various ways after the earthquake. He made positive comments on the long-standing adherence of the Arab countries to the one-China policy and hailed their support of the Beijing Olympic Games in ensuring the successful torch relay in Muscat, Oman.
Yang said over the years, China and Arab countries have supported and coordinated with each other in international and regional affairs with increasing political trust and ever closer economic exchanges. The development of China-Arab relationship has set example for contemporary international relations and has also made important contributions to world peace and progress.
Yang said as the world is undergoing great changes and adjustments, China and the Arab world face similar challenges and opportunities. The common responsibility and goal link the fate of both sides more tightly. Yang urged both sides to work together to advance the new type of partnership and achieve peace and sustainable development. He proposed that both sides should try to become partners of equality and mutual trust to deepen political friendly relations, partners of mutual benefits to achieve common development, partners of mutual exchanges to promote prosperity and progress of mankind civilization and partners of coordination and cooperation to contribute to stability in the Middle East and to build a harmonious world.
Yang said the China-Arab Cooperation Forum has formed a framework that focuses on political, economic, trade and cultural cooperation, while taking cooperation in other fields into consideration. The forum has become an important platform for both sides to conduct group dialogue and an effective mechanism to advancing pragmatic cooperation. Both sides have made gratifying headway in implementing the outcome documents of the Beijing ministerial meeting with bilateral trade growing rapidly. Both sides have also held such activities as entrepreneurs', energy and friendship conferences, seminar on inter-civilization dialogue and press cooperation forum, and China has helped to train 1,500 personnel of management and technology for Arab countries. Yang called for both sides to further enhance activities of the forum, enrich its connotations and improve its mechanism. He proposed that the two sides should focus their cooperation on energy, investment, engineering project contract and human resource development and increase input in these areas. Both sides should gradually strengthen the forum's cooperative relations with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and international multilateral development organizations based on the pragmatic and flexible spirit, seek cooperation with the third party under the framework of the forum and encourage innovation.
The participating Arab ministers expressed satisfaction with bilateral relations between their countries and China and with Arab-China ties, holding that since its establishment, the China-Arab Cooperation Forum has greatly pushed forward Arab-China relations based on equality and mutual benefits. They spoke highly of China's achievements in economic and social development and appreciated China's support of the just cause of Arab people and its positive and constrictive role in other important international and regional affairs. They emphasized that to develop Arab-China relations is a strategic choice of their countries, pledging to deepen cooperation with China on bilateral occasions and within the forum. The Arab countries are ready to expand exchanges with China on trade, investment, finance, environmental protection, science and technology, culture, inter-civilization dialogue and human resources development to achieve common development and mutual benefits, the Arab ministers said. They also hoped that China will continue to exert important influence in the Middle East affairs to promote regional peace and stability. They also wished the Beijing Olympic Games a great success.
Following the meeting, Yang and Secretary General of the Arab League Amr Moussa signed a communiqué and a plan of action for 2008 to 2010.