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Chinese premier to visit Arab countries, address energy summit

01-12-2012 08:52 BJT Special Report:Premier Wen Visits Arab Nations, Attends Energy Summit |

BEIJING, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will pay an official visit to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar from Jan. 14 to 19, vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun said on Wednesday.

Wen's visit comes at the invitation of King and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, and Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Hamad bin Jasim bin Jabir al-Thani.

Premier Wen will attend the Fifth World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi at the invitation of Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Zhai said.

The current global situation is experiencing the deepest and most complicated changes since the Cold War while various new problems and challenges are emerging, Zhai said.

The difficulty of global governance is growing, Zhai said. Events including the collapse of the former Soviet Union, the 9/11 attack, Afghanistan war, Iraq war and the international financial crisis have brought a profound and complicated impact on the national and regional situation and even the global political and economic situation.

While China and Arab countries are developing countries, Zhai said, all of us are facing the tasks of development, stability and peace.

China has been maintaining stable development of the relationship with Arab and Muslim countries, while keeping good coordination and cooperation on important regional and international issues.

China regards Arab countries as friends, partners and brothers, Zhai said. "China will work with them to continuously consolidate and push strategic cooperation and common development."

It will be the first international visit by a Chinese leader this year, Zhai said, and China's important diplomatic activity in the Gulf.

The visit is also significant for deepening the relationship between China and the three countries, pushing cooperation between China and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and boosting development of the overall relationship between China and Arab countries and the Muslim world, Zhai said.

Wen will exchange views with the leaders on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common concern, Zhai said.

Premier Wen's visit is the first by a Chinese Premier to Saudi Arabia in 20 years, Zhai said.

Bilateral relations between China and Saudi Arabia have witnessed fast development. Meetings of both sides' leaders are frequent, Zhai said, and the economic and trade cooperation has made abundant achievements.

Bilateral trade from January to November last year amounted to 58.1 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of 50 percent year-on-year, Zhai said, adding that the two sides enjoy increasingly vigorous cooperation in science, education, culture and society.

In 2008, China and Saudi Arabia established strategic friendly relations, Zhai said. Under the new situation, the two sides have strong desire to beef up the bilateral relations and further develop cooperation.

During his visit, Premier Wen is scheduled to meet with King and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz, Secretary General of the GCC Abdullatif al-Zayani, and Organization of Islamic Cooperation Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.

And the two governments will sign a joint statement to promote the strategic cooperation relationship and deepen cooperation in all fields, Zhai said.

He also said China and Saudi Arabia will sign a series of cooperation agreements in economy, trade, education and culture.

Wen's visit to the UAE will be the first visit there by a Chinese premier since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

"The China-UAE relation has come a long way in the last 27 years," Zhai said. Both sides have frequent high-level exchanges and steady growth in economic cooperation.

In the first 11 months in 2011, the bilateral trade volume was 31.9 billion U.S. dollars.

"Bilateral cooperation in infrastructure, finance and culture has been enriched and leaders of the two countries have a broad consensus on deepening the cooperation," Zhai said.

During his visit, Wen will meet with the president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Wen will hold talks with the UAE vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, visit some China-UAE projects and attend some cultural activities.

The two governments will sign a joint statement on establishing a strategic partnership between the two countries, which will become a guideline document for bilateral relations.

As an important part of Wen's schedule, he will attend and address the opening ceremony of the Fifth World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, one of the biggest and most influential international meetings on renewable energy sources.

Wen will also attend the opening ceremony of a China-UAE entrepreneurs conference and investment seminar.

Wen's visit to Qatar will be the first visit there by a Chinese premier since diplomatic ties were established between the two countries.

"In recent years the bilateral relationship moved forward smoothly," Zhai said.

In the first 10 months of 2011,the bilateral trade volume was 5.1 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of 72 percent year on year.

According to Zhai, Wen's visit will deepen mutual understanding and advance mutual beneficial cooperation in all fields.

During the visit, Premier Wen will meet with Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad,Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Hamad bin Jasim bin Jabir al-Thani and Qatari Crown Prince Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.

"Leaders of the two countries will exchange views on deepening cooperation in all fields and other issues of common concerns," Zhai said.

The two sides will also sign cooperation agreements in finance and investment and other fields.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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