Chinese and Arab ministers vowed Thursday in Tunisia to continue todeepen their strategic cooperative relationship as they wrapped upthe Fifth Ministerial Conference of the China-Arab CooperationForum. At the closure of the conference, which was held in Tunisia'seastern seaside city of Hammamet under the theme of "deepenstrategic cooperation, promote common development", Chinese ForeignMinister Yang Jiechi said the conference has successfully finishedits agenda and has achieved the expected goals. Defining the conference as "a grand event of reflecting onfriendship, enhancing solidarity and looking out for the future,"Yang said, "the conference agreed on the communique and action planfor 2012-2014. The two documents will play a role of guiding andpromotion in the development of the China-Arab ties and the forumitself in the next two year." According to the communique, China and Arab countries will continueto strengthen political negotiations and cooperation under theforum's framework on major regional and international issues. Chinareiterated its support to Arab countries' strategic choices forrealizing a comprehensive and just peace. |
The communique stipulatedto establish a bilateral and collective disputes-solving mechanism,and set a target of increasing the China-Arab trade volume to 300billion U.S. dollars in 2014. China also agreed in the communiqueto enhance cooperation in human resource with Arab states, pledgingto train 5,000 people in various sectors for Arab countries from2012 to 2014. The two sides also agreed to take measures to deepen culturalexchanges, including to encourage the establishment of culturalcenters in each other.
Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafik Abdesslem said at a pressconference after the ministerial meeting that the one-dayconference included two close-door meetings, in which the ministersdiscussed the development of the forum and the China- Arabrelations and exchanged of views on international and regionalissues of common interest. The two sides also signed a series ofmemoranda of understanding for cooperation in the areas ofindustry, health and quality control. "I can say with confidence that the conference went on well and hasreached a huge success. The attendees exchanged views profoundly,and we found that we are holding similar or even same viewpointsand stances on some major international and regional issues," saidAbdesslem.
Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, who attended the opening of theconference earlier Thursday, expressed his hope in a speech thatChina and Arab countries will upgrade their cooperation andestablish a pragmatic and stable strategic relationship, sayingthat the theme of the forum is conducive for promoting bilateralinvestment and trade. "Tunisia has been working together with the other Arab countriesand participating the forum's activities since its establishment,making the forum a mechanism that covers areas of economy andtrade, agriculture, technology and education," the Tunisianpresident said when addressing the ministers and senior officialsfrom China and the Arab League (AL) member states. "Since its establishment in 2004, the China-Arab Cooperation Forumhas become a important platform for the collective dialogues andcooperation between the two sides in the new era," Yang said,hailing the forum's achievements during the past two years,including continuously-consolidated political ties, vigorously-growing economic and trade cooperation, and diversified culturalexchanges. AL Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi stressed in his key-note speechat the conference that the AL attaches a great importance to theties with China, and praised the forum's significant role inboosting the China-Arab cooperation in various areas.
"China has a leading role among the world's emerging powers and isthe second largest economy in the world. The AL attaches a greatimportance to developing relations with China," the AL chief said,adding that the Chine-Arab Cooperation Forum is one of the mostcomprehensive mechanisms the AL has ever joined. The conference also agreed to hold the next ministerial meeting in2014 in China.
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