China-Arab cooperation aims for thriving future

17:29, May 12, 2010      

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The Fourth Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum will open Thursday in China’s northern port city Tianjin. Under the theme "deepen comprehensive cooperation to achieve common development," the gathering is widely expected to further promote bilateral ties.

Foreign ministers and representatives from China and 22 Arab countries will attend the meeting, which will be co-chaired by Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Libyan Foreign Minister Mousa Kousa and Arab League (AL) Secretary-General Amr Moussa.

The two-day meeting will close with the issuing of a communique and an action plan for 2010-12.

"The China-Arab Cooperation Forum is a very good platform for promoting bilateral cooperation," Prof. Yang Guang, director-general of the Chinese Institute of West Asian and African Studies, said.

He added the future of the forum lies in its ever-enriching contents and comprehensive dialogue on political, economic and cultural issues.

China and Arab countries have deep-rooted relations which date back to the Silk Road some 2,000 years ago. China has now forged diplomatic ties with all the 22 members of the AL.

The forum was initiated in January 2004, when Chinese President Hu Jintao visited the AL headquarters in the Egyptian capital Cairo. It has since served as a platform for exchanging views between China and the Arab nations and for enhancing mutually beneficial cooperation.

"As a combination of political, economic and cultural relations, the forum is indeed a very promising joint endeavor," AL Secretary-General Moussa told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.

"The forum is achieving the goal that we were set to achieve: wider trade relations, more diversified economic relations, deeper political consultations and at the same time, the cultural side is being encouraged," Moussa said.

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