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Hu Vows to Cement China-Arab Cooperation
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Chinese President Hu Jintao said on Wednesday that China will work with the Arab states to further promote friendly cooperation on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

Hu made the remarks while meeting with foreign ministers and representatives from the 22 Arab states and Secretary-General of the League of Arab States Amr Mahmoud Moussa, who are in Beijing to attend the China-Arab Cooperation Forum, which opened on Wednesday.

"China thanks the Arab states for supporting China in relation to Taiwan and human rights issues and will as always support the just cause of the Arab states and people," Hu said.

Hu called for further economic cooperation between China and the Arab states, adding that parties would expand cooperation in such fields as trade, investment, energy and environmental protection.

"We will explore new mechanisms and ways to cooperate in a bid to take the China-Arab pragmatic cooperation to new highs," Hu added.

On international and regional affairs, Hu suggested that the regional disputes be resolved peacefully through consultation and dialogue.

Visiting Arab ministers acknowledged that the China-Arab Cooperation Forum, established in 2004, has been an important platform for dialogue and cooperation, and is a good example of cooperation among developing countries.

The Arab delegates reiterated their adherence to the one-China policy and appreciated the positive role that China plays in supporting the "just cause" of the Arab people and international affairs.

Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing co-hosted the meeting with Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates Mohammed Hussein Al Shaali, whose country holds the Arab League rotating presidency, and league Secretary General Amr Mahmoud Moussa.

Addressing the forum, Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan said that the Chinese government supports the peace initiatives proposed by the Arab states to resolve the Palestine-Israel issue.

Tang said that China supports finding a solution to the Middle East issue through negotiations on the basis of relevant UN resolutions and the principle of land for peace.

Greater Sino-Arab coordination on major international and regional issues would help maintain peace and stability in the Middle East, the Asia Pacific region and the world.

The Chinese government hoped to step up cooperation and promote the China-Arab partnership within the framework of the ministerial forum, he said.

Tang put forward four proposals for enhanced cooperation, starting with further visits between state leaders, greater governmental cooperation, and parliamentary, party-to-party and people-to-people exchanges.

Second, all parties should deepen energy dialogue and cooperation and expand mutual efforts in training, trade and investment.

Third, parties should expand friendly exchanges, so as to become partners.

Finally, China and Arab countries should strengthen coordination on international affairs and work together to maintain world peace, security and stability, with deeper cooperation in non-traditional security areas.

(Xinhua News Agency June 1, 2006)

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