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6th China-Arab States Cooperation Forum Concludes in Beijing, with 10-Year Development Plan

June 5, 2014

Arab League Secretary-General, Nabil Al-Arabi, Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, in Beijing, June 5, 2014

CASCF ministerial meeting concludes with development plan

BEIJING, June 5, 2014 (Xinhua) --

The sixth ministerial conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF) concluded in Beijing on Thursday, with a 10-year development plan adopted.

The Beijing Declaration, an action plan for 2014 to 2016 and a development plan for 2014 to 2024 was passed at the meeting, according to a press release from the Foreign Ministry, without disclosing their contents.

Chinese President Xi Jinping's address to the opening ceremony pointed out priority areas for China-Arab states cooperation in the coming 10 years, which is a guide of action for the future development of the bilateral ties, said Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the concluding ceremony.

Wang added that China was ready to work with Arab countries to implement the consensus reached in the meeting and benefit peoples from the two sides.

Representatives from Arab states spoke highly of the achievements scored by the CASCF since its establishment 10 years ago, and voiced their support for President Xi's initiative of jointly building the "One Belt and One Road".

The "One Belt and One Road" refers to the "Silk Road Economic Belt" and "21st Century Maritime Silk Road", concepts put forward by Xi during his visit to Central Asia and Southeast Asia respectively in 2013 to promote overall cooperation among countries all along.

The next ministerial meeting will be held in Qatar in 2016.

China opposes discrimination or prejudice: President Xi

BEIJING, June 5, 2014 (Xinhua) --

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday called on China and Arab states to encourage mutual learning among civilizations, saying China opposes discrimination or prejudice against any nation or religion.

"No one civilization can claim to be superior to others," Xi said at the opening ceremony of the sixth ministerial conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum in Beijing.

All human civilizations are equal, and their interaction makes them more colorful, he said.

"Five colors, when shining upon each other, will add beauty to each other; eight musical instruments, when played together, will make a harmonious melody," Xi said, quoting an old Chinese saying.

China and Arab states have always treated each other with an open mind and inclusiveness, and engaged in dialogue and communication rather than conflict or confrontation, the president said.

"We have set a fine example of harmonious coexistence among countries with different social systems, beliefs and cultural traditions," said Xi.

He said China will continue to unswervingly support Arab states in upholding their national and cultural traditions, and oppose any discrimination or prejudice against a particular nation or religion.

"We should work together to advocate inclusiveness of civilizations, and prevent extremist forces and ideologies from causing fault lines among civilizations," said Xi.

Arab nations laud Xi's keynote speech at cooperation forum

BEIJING, June 5, 2014 (Xinhua) --

Chinese President Xi Jinping's address at a ministerial meeting Thursday between China and Arab countries would help the two sides accelerate win-win cooperation, Arab officials and experts said.

In a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the sixth ministerial conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF) in Beijing, Xi called on the two sides to carry forward the "spirit of the Silk Road" and deepen their cooperation.

Ghanim al-Shibli, head of the Arab League (AL) mission in China, said Xi's proposal on the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, or "One Belt and One Road" for short, had laid a solid foundation for deepening China-Arab friendly cooperation and would serve as a new starting point for the forum since its establishment a decade ago.

The AL would make more efforts with China to push forward the construction of the "One Belt and One Road," he added.

Moroccan Foreign Minister Salaheddin Mezouar said he fully supports Xi's proposal, saying it would be conducive to the construction of a regional comprehensive system of cooperation.

He voiced his hope that the proposal would promote exchanges among countries in such fields as trade, science and technology.

Ibrahim Seif, Jordan's Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, said the speech paves the way for a new start of cooperation between China and the Arab world, adding that it enhances cooperation in the economic, commercial and cultural fields.

"We in Jordan are very interested in developing our relations with China and we are working on implementing agreements reached between the leaders of China and Jordan to expand cooperation," Seif said.

Mohamed Ibrahim al-Saket, former AL ambassador to China, said the forum showed that China endeavors to enhance relations not only with its neighbors, but also with the Middle East and Arab countries.

"China prompted on many occasions the win-win cooperation, which means the country doesn't only seek for its development but also enable the others to grow," he said.

He added that through such forum, China would reach more agreements with Arab nations at all levels, especially in the economic field.

"But the forum this time stressed the importance for reviving the Silk Road which would provide the countries, which the old Silk Road passes through, with common services and developmental investments in different logistic fields, likewise railways, ports and trade exchange which in its turn will create job opportunities," al-Saket said.

In building the "One Belt and One Road," which were put forward by Xi during his visit to Central Asia and Southeast Asia respectively in 2013, China and Arab nations would create better people-to-people communication, he noted.

"Xi's speech signals positive messages to the Middle East and the Arab countries," he said.

Ibrahim al-Ameri, a professor of politics at Baghdad University, said Xi's proposal would boost economic, social and cultural cooperation between China and the Arab world.

"I believe that the call of the Chinese president to promote cooperation is a logical call and is a great opportunity for Arab countries, including my country Iraq, to grab it in order to build our own prosperity and live in peace and harmony with other nations," he said.

As the proposed new Silk Roads would pass several Arab countries and travel via Arab seas, such as the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea, China and Arab nations should better cooperate in building some major projects, al-Ameri said.

"Therefore, it is a great opportunity for our countries to build up infrastructure, including ports, roads as well as high-speed railway network. We need to cooperate and to interpret these words into tangible actions for the benefit of both the Chinese and Arab nations," he said.

Ahmed Hashem Bahrozyan, chairman of the Dubai International Project Management Forum of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), said Xi's speech is constructive and has a guiding significance for relations between China and Arab countries.

The UAE and China have witnessed rapid development in their trade and economic ties and conducted sound cooperation in such fields as energy and infrastructure, he said,

He called on the two countries to continue to strengthen exchanges in various fields with the help of the proposed "One Belt and One Road" mechanism.

Bahrozyan voiced his ardent expectation for the Chinese government and enterprises' active participation in the Dubai International Project Management Forum, saying it accords with the spirit of Xi's speech and the China-Arab cooperation forum.

Mahmoud Sharif, an expert of international relations in Libya, said his country benefits from not only the cooperation forum's achievements, but also China's rapid development.

Libya hopes to maintain a high-level, steady cooperative relationship with China, he said.


Video>> Chinese FM meets counterparts from Arab countries


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