|Yang Jiechi Stresses China-Arab Cooperation Enjoys Great Potential|
On June 1, 2012, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told the Chinese media in Tunisia that the development of relations between China and Arab states has broad prospects and far-reaching significance and is conducive to peace, stability and development in the Middle East.
Yang paid an official visit to Tunisia after attending the fifth ministerial meeting of China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF). During the visit, he received an interview of Chinese media in which he reviewed the outcome of the fifth ministerial meeting and elaborated views on the development of China-Arab relations. He said that the just-concluded fifth ministerial meeting has the following characteristics compared with the previous meetings.
First, the meeting has special significance. It is the first highest-level institutional activity of CASCF since the Chinese and Arab sides established strategic partnership in 2010. During the meeting, focusing on the themes of deepening strategic cooperation and promoting common development, the two sides conducted in-depth discussions on the initiatives and measures to strengthen China-Arab strategic cooperative relations and promote CASCF's mechanism building, determined the priority areas and specific projects of bilateral cooperation within the next two years and exchanged views and reached broad consensus on the major international and regional issues of common concern.
Second, against the background of profound changes in the Arab world, the two sides have stronger desire to strengthen friendly cooperation and develop CASCF and attach great importance to further deepening the strategic partnership and enhance the level of cooperation.
Third, the cooperation is fruitful. The meeting adopted and signed the communiqué and the 2012-2014 action plan. Related departments of both sides also signed a number of cooperation documents, further enriched the connotation of bilateral strategic cooperative relations and enhanced the mechanism building of CASCF.
Yang stressed that China and Arab states consolidated traditional friendship, deepened pragmatic cooperation, reinforced strategic mutual trust and significantly boosted the China-Arab collective cooperation and the development of bilateral relations through the meeting which is conducive to promoting peace, stability and development in the Middle East.
Talking about the turbulent situation in the Middle East and the development direction of China-Arab relations, Yang noted that the current regional and international situation is undergoing unprecedentedly profound and complicated changes. As developing countries, both China and Arab states shoulder the arduous mission of responding to the call of the times, achieving their own development and improving people's livelihood. The two sides enjoy strong complementarities and cooperation potential in economy, trade, agriculture, health and other areas. The Chinese and Arab people have the desire to strengthen connections. Under new circumstances, China and Arab states will have closer ties and more common language and interests and the bilateral relations will enjoy a greater space of development. We are full of confidence in the prospects of China-Arab relations.