The UAE is participating in the China-Arab Cooperation Forum, which kicked-off today in Beijing, in the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping and a number of high-level delegations from Arab states, and Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit.
The UAE delegation is headed by Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, and includes Yacoub Yousef Al Hosani, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for International Organisations Affairs, and Ali Obaid Ali Al Dhaheri, UAE Ambassador to China.
In a statement during the Forum's proceedings, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber said that China is a strategic partner of Arab countries, noting that Arab-Chinese relations have witnessed remarkable development and expansion.
The Minister of State expressed the UAE leadership's keenness to develop ties with China further, to maintain continued and constructive communication between the two nations, and to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries across many sectors.
Dr. Al Jaber noted that the significant presence of Arab nations and their participation in the Forum underscores the historical ties between Arab countries and the People's Republic of China. "This reflects the aspirations of both the governments and peoples to benefit from the opportunities and resources while promoting development and knowledge exchange," he added.
The China-Arab Forum, Dr. Al Jaber continued, emphasises the importance of engagement and communication between Arab states and China on various issues of mutual concern. These include the geographical and political significance of Arab nations, the prestigious role China plays in international arenas, and the core belief in the need to coordinate and expand frameworks of cooperation between Arab states and China thus contributing to the strengthening of global security and stability, he said.
"We meet today with regional and global challenges in our midst," he said, adding that the most prominent of which is the spread of terrorism and extremism. "In this context, Iran's interference in the internal affairs of Arab states and its support of terrorist militias in our brotherly Arab neighbours represents a direct threat to the safety, security and stability of our region and the world," he affirmed.
Dr. Al Jaber also reiterated the UAE's condemnation of the continued Iranian occupation of the three UAE islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa. He reaffirmed the UAE's call for Iran to respond to all efforts aimed at finding a peaceful solution to this issue through bilateral negotiations or resolving the issue via the International Court of Justice.
Commenting on the situation in Yemen, the Minister of State explained that the entry of the Saudi-led Arab Coalition Forces was as a result of an official request by the internationally recognised Yemeni government and based on UNSC Resolution No. 2216 with the sole aim to achieve stability and restore legitimacy to Yemen and its citizens.
"The operation to liberate Hodeidah came to light to further advance prospects of a political solution in Yemen, and to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid, while also defeating Houthi militias and ridding them of their weapons sources used to attack Yemeni civilians and threaten the security of Saudi Arabia," he explained.
As for the issue of Palestine and the Middle East peace process, Dr. Al Jaber said that the UAE continues to call for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state within 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Commenting on the Syrian crisis, Dr. Al Jaber said the UAE reiterates that only a political solution will bring an end to the conflict in Syria, reaffirming the UAE's support for all efforts exerted by the United Nations to bring peace to the war-torn country.
The Forum will see the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and a 2018-2020 action plan, covering more than ten areas of cooperation, and the Arab-Chinese Executive Declaration for the Belt and Road Initiative.
Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs