World / Opinion

AL chief: 'Beijing can play vital role'

By Xinhua in Cairo (China Daily) Updated: 2016-01-20 08:14

The visit of President Xi Jinping to the League of Arab States in Cairo is "a very important event", and China's relations with the Arab countries are "ideal," Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Araby said in an interview with Xinhua on Monday.

"China is the only major state in the world that always supports Arab rights and causes, because they are rightful. China has great influence on the balance of international relations," he continued, praising Beijing for strongly supporting the Palestinian cause.

Araby's remarks came several days ahead of President Xi's visit to the Egyptian capital of Cairo for talks with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and with the Arab League chief as part of a regional tour including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran.

On China's first official paper on its policy with Arab states, issued last week, he said, "All (Arab countries) have read it and have seen the Chinese commitment to increasing the level of cooperation and assistance to the Arab world."

AL chief: 'Beijing can play vital role'

In 2004, the Arab League and China established the China-Arab forum. "The Arab-China forum is very successful," he said.

Araby said there would be discussions during Xi's visit to the League about enhancing mutual ties in fields including science, education, culture, health, radio, television and cinema.

He also said that memorandums of understanding would be signed on cooperation in atomic energy and satellite navigation.

"Despite its scientific, industrial and technological progress, China always considers itself one of the developing countries," he said.

China can play "an important role" in the different issues in the Middle East, which has seen chaotic conditions arise in Syria, Libya, Iraq and Yemen and has recently witnessed growing tension between the regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran.

"China is the only country of the five permanent members of the Security Council that really wants to play a positive role in all these crises. The Security Council issued relevant resolutions on these crises, and China, as a permanent member, played an important role in achieving the right balance," Araby said.

He stressed that the country can make a difference if it mediates to release the tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran over the former's recent execution of a Shiite cleric.


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