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The 15th Senior Officials' Meeting of the CASCF Held in Beijing

On July 9, 2018, the 15th Senior Officials' Meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF) was held in Beijing. Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong attended the opening ceremony of the meeting and delivered a speech. The meeting was co-chaired by Secretary General of the Chinese Secretariat of the CASCF and Director-General of the Department of West Asian and North African Affairs of the Foreign Ministry Deng Li, and Head of the Arab delegation and Director of the Department of the Arab League of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ras of Saudi Arabia. Senior officials from 21 Arab states and the Secretariat of Arab League as well as diplomatic envoys of the Arab states to China attended the meeting.

Chen Xiaodong said that President Xi Jinping will attend the opening ceremony of the 8th CASCF Ministerial Meeting and deliver an important speech to further draw a blueprint for cooperation in the joint construction of the Belt and Road between China and the Arab states. It is believed that such gestures will definitely chart a course for and inject new impetus into the long-term development of China-Arab states relations and the CASCF as well.

In his speech, Chen Xiaodong reviewed the important achievements made by China and the Arab states in promoting high-level exchanges, deepening mutual trust and consensus, jointly building the Belt and Road and promoting people-to-people and cultural exchanges. Chen Xiaodong expressed that China is willing to work with the Arab side in the following four aspects: The first is to further strengthen strategic communication and coordination and continue to plan the development of China-Arab states relations from a strategic height and long-term perspective, so as to jointly promote the building of a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind. The second is to utter the loudest voice of jointly safeguarding fairness and justice. China will continue to firmly support the just cause of the Palestinian people in restoring national rights, and promote a just and reasonable settlement to the Palestinian issue. All relevant parties should endeavor to find a political solution that matches local realities and takes into account the concerns of various parties to other hotspot issues in the Middle East. The third is to further deepen mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation between China and Arab states, align the development strategies of both sides by taking the joint construction of the Belt and Road as a general guidance, explore new patterns of cooperation with courage, and forge new driving forces for cooperation. The fourth is to further consolidate the public opinion foundation for China-Arab states friendship, tighten the bond of mutual understanding and friendship between the Chinese and Arab people, and enrich the channels for people-to-people and cultural exchanges between both sides, so as to constantly consolidate the foundation of friendship for both sides and pass on China-Arab states friendship from generation to generation. Chen Xiaodong pointed out that the building of the CASCF should highlight innovation and development and adhere to the bilateral and multilateral complementarities, thus benefiting more people of both sides.

During the meeting, all participants exchanged views on the preparations for the upcoming 8th CASCF Ministerial Meeting and reviewed the agenda of the meeting and relevant outcome documents. Before the meeting, China and the Arab states also held the fourth high-level strategic political dialogue.

The representatives of the Arab states highly appreciated the development status quo of the relations between Arab states and China as well as the achievements from the construction of the CASCF, and actively expressed their willingness to strengthen bilateral cooperation, deepen the friendship between the two sides, and promote the development of the CASCF. They believe that the 8th CASCF Ministerial Meeting will be successful, and play a significant role in deepening China-Arab states strategic cooperation and realizing the common prosperity and development of both sides.

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