China, Saudi Arabia agree to set up high-level committee to steer cooperation

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China and Saudi Arabia have decided to establish a high-level committee to guide and coordinate bilateral cooperation, the two countries' foreign ministers announced Wednesday.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) is awarded with Abdulaziz Medal by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud after their talks in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 19, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

This was agreed by visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters.

"It is one of the major outcomes of President Xi's visit to Saudi Arabia, and also the first major step for the two sides to build a comprehensive strategic partnership," Wang said.

"With guidance and coordination of the committee, the two countries will follow the general direction of this partnership to greatly promote all-round cooperation," he said.

The foreign ministries of the the two countries will later discuss the specific matters on setting up the high-level committee to implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state, he added.

Xi arrived in Riyadh Tuesday for a two-day state visit to the kingdom, the first by a Chinese head of state in seven years. During the summit talks with Saudi King Salman on Tuesday, they agreed to elevate the bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership and step up cooperation in various areas.

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir lauded Xi's visit as "historic," saying that the upgrading of the ties and the establishment of the high-level steering committee usher in a new era of the bilateral relations and open up an even broader prospect.

The Chinese president will head to Egypt Wednesday afternoon to continue his three-nation tour of the Middle East, which will also take him to Iran.

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