China, Saudi Arabia reaffirm friendship and multilateral cooperation

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (left) and Saudi Arabian counterpart Faisal Farhan Al Saud met on July 15, 2021. PHOTOS: EPA-EFE, AFP

TASHKENT, UZBEKISTAN (XINHUA) - Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Saudi Arabian counterpart Faisal Farhan Al Saud reaffirmed their commitment to bilateral ties and multilateral cooperation during a meeting on Thursday (July 15).

Mr Wang said that Beijing attaches great importance to the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Saudi Arabia and is willing to be a long term reliable and stable friend to the kingdom.

He thanked Saudi Arabia for its understanding and support for China on issues concerning Beijing's core interests.

China also firmly supports Saudi Arabia in safeguarding its sovereignty, security and dignity, and opposes external forces pointing fingers at the kingdom under the banner of human rights and democracy as well as interfering in Saudi internal affairs, Mr Wang said.

China will continue to provide assistance to Saudi Arabia in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic as well as support Saudi Arabia's various initiatives, including Vision 2030, a programme that aims to transform the kingdom into an industrial powerhouse and a global logistics hub.

Beijing will also strengthen cooperation in such fields as energy, investment and finance, and help with Saudi Arabia's diversified economic development, Mr Wang said.

He added that China is willing to work closely with Saudi Arabia to ensure the smooth convening and success of the China-Arab Summit.

Mr Wang said that the situation in Afghanistan once again showed that no attempt to intervene by external force has been successful, and no attempt to impose one's own system model on other countries is achievable.

Noting that the Afghan issue should be resolved by the Afghan people themselves, he said that China has never interfered in Afghanistan's internal affairs and is ready to play a constructive role in the country's reconciliation and reconstruction.

The Chinese Foreign Minister said he believes that Saudi Arabia, as an important force in the Muslim world, can also make positive contributions to the political settlement of the Afghan issue.

China understands Saudi Arabia's concerns about regional security and is willing to stay in communication with the kingdom on this issue, Mr Wang said.

Beijing is also ready to make joint efforts with Saudi Arabia to encourage emerging-market countries to play their due role in global governance and promote democracy in international relations as well as the process of world multi-polarisation.

Prince Faisal said that China is a strong partner of Saudi Arabia, and that the kingdom will firmly support Beijing on issues concerning China's sovereignty. It is also willing to be China's eternal friend, he said.

Saudi Arabia is grateful to China for providing Covid-19 vaccines and hopes to continue to promote vaccine cooperation with Beijing, he said.

Noting that China's role in the Middle East is constantly on the rise, Prince Faisal said that Saudi Arabia will work with Beijing to make preparations for the Arab-China Summit and build a bridge of communication between China and Middle Eastern countries.

Saudi Arabia hopes to strengthen communication and coordination with China on Afghanistan as well as the Iranian nuclear issue, and expand cooperation in multilateral fields, among other things, said Prince Faisal.

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