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Interview: China, Arab world to see "more, closer cooperation in future": Arab League chief

05-03-2012 05:08 BJT

by Xinhua Writers Li Laifang, Chen Cong

CAIRO, May 2 (Xinhua) -- Arab League (AL) chief Nabil al-Arabi said here on Wednesday that relations between China and Arab countries have been "very solid and improving all the time in all fields".

"We expect more, closer cooperation in the future", the secretary general told reporters of Chinese media in the AL headquarters, ahead of his visit to China.

Arabi, who assumed office as the new AL chief to replace his predecessor Amr Moussa in July 2010, will embark on his first six- day tour to China on Friday. He will talk with Chinese officials about China-Arab relations.

"China has made great advance and progress," he said. "I really would like to take the opportunity to have deep conservation with Chinese foreign minister on China's policies and to exchange views about what's going on in the world."

"China is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and one of the few countries who have been consistently supporting all Arab causes," said Arabi. He said he would hear China's views on the Palestinians, the Syrian crisis and bilateral relations between China and the Arab League.

Arabi said he was looking forward to attending the fifth ministerial meeting of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum to be held in Tunisia at the end of this month.

"The meeting is more important than previous ones. We have seen ourselves how China is much interested and cooperating with Arab countries," said Arabi.

"We have been preparing for the meeting for a long time. We expect there will be some results coming from it," he added.

The secretary general said the forum "is a great opportunity to promote better understanding and relations through exchange of views".

He hailed the role of the high-level forum. "We have other forums with other big powers. But no one can achieve such close relations as the one between China and Arab countries."

Bilateral relations between China and Arab countries "have been very solid and improving in all fields, economical, political, trade and culture.

The region has seen a sweeping political, social turmoil which began in Tunisia and spread to Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Syria. But the chief said the transformation will not affect the relations between the two sides.

"Everyone wants to have better relations with China," said Arabi, who viewed the changes as internal due to the different conditions of each country.

"We are happy to see that two resolutions have been recently adopted by the UN Security Council unanimously. We hope that from now on, the United Nations will be able to speak with one voice," he said.

Russia and China had vetoed the council's two previous resolutions concerning Syria, which drew criticism from some countries.

"At present, I must say I am very very satisfied with the cooperation between China and the Arab league on all the Arab issues," Arabi said. "I would take it that the exercise of the veto was because the situation in Syria was not very clear. I think now the situation is very clear. I am very satisfied with the position taken by China."

Concerning the Syrian crisis, Arabi said "there should be an end to violence, release of prisoners and entry into genuine and meaningful political reforms."

He said things may change after UN observers were fully deployed, but he admitted that one cannot pin all the hopes on the observers, whose main task was to monitor the cease-fire instead of solving the crisis.

Arabi also appreciated consistent support from China for the Palestinians and hopes China will continue to do so in this respect.


Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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