ABU DHABI, 9th November, 2020 (WAM) -- The UAE has chaired a joint meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs of GCC countries with Wang Li, State Counselor, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China.
H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation chaired the meeting that was held virtually with the participation of GCC Foreign Ministers, in attendances of Dr. Nayef Falah M. Al Hajraf, GCC Secretary-General.
Addressing the meeting, H.H Sheikh Abdullah said, "We gather today, a few days after the passing of the wise leader, the prince of diplomacy and humanity, His Highness, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, the Emir of Kuwait. The late Emir always undertook great efforts to build and maintain a collective consensus towards peace and stability; and he exerted successful diplomatic mediation efforts on numerous regional and international issues. He was a very popular leader, loved and welcomed by everyone, and his sincere efforts have always been highly recognised and appreciated by all. We all ask Allah to lay his soul peacefully in heaven, and that His Highness Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the Emir of Kuwait, and his Crown Prince, His Highness Sheikh Meshaal Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, guide the path of peace, development and stability in the brotherly State of Kuwait."
He added, "We today within the framework of the Joint Ministerial meeting with the People’s Republic of China. We would like to express our satisfaction and appreciation for the friendly and strategic cooperation between our two nations across all fields; and we look forward to enhance these relations in all possible ways in a manner that would ensure and realise the interests of both sides. We highly commend our joint work with China in international organisations through our consensus agreement on a number of issues that serve stability, peace and development in the world."
He went on to say, "We would like to extend our sincere thanks to you for inviting the GCC ambassadors, among other ambassadors, accredited to Beijing to visit various Chinese regions, including Xinjiang, to learn about China's efforts in the development and protection of ethnic minorities. We reiterate our keen interest in maintaining and developing distinguished and strategic relations with the People's Republic of China, and we are confident that we will realise the aspirations of both our countries in a manner that would serve our common interests and support development and peace around the world."
Sheikh Abdullah noted, "We highly appreciate and commend the cooperation of the People's Republic of China with the GCC countries to address and combat the Covid-19 pandemic through the provision of equipment, medications, and through the partnerships in developing vaccines against the pandemic. We look forward to further closer ties in this regard."
He emphasised that the People's Republic of China is one of the GCC's most prominent trading partners, with trade surge over ten times, from about USD16.3 billion in 2001 to about USD 167.7 billion in 2018, and the signing of the FTA which will promote strategic cooperation and partnership.
The UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation indicated, "We meet today with hope to further cooperation in different fields, including education, artificial intelligence, industry, health, agriculture and food, and human development. In addition to creating frameworks for cooperation in the fields of social and youth, the empowerment of women, the environment and climate. As we recognise China's position as an effective regional and international influence, based on Beijing’s global economy position and its vital role diplomatically as a permanent member of the UN Security Council. Gulf Cooperation Council countries, which respect and carefully observe the international law, have keen interest to build their regional and international relations on the bases of mutual respect and common interests.'' Sheikh Abdullah emphasised that ''We condemn all terrorist acts and affirm our rejection to terrorism and extremism, and affirm our solidarity with states and the families of the victims."
H.H. said that the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council are aware of the importance of this region as an important lifeline for the global economy. Therefore, the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council have taken steps to deescalate tension in the Arab Gulf region, anticipating that Iran would take measures to build confidence, by changing its behaviour in the region in compliance with its international obligations away from its interference in the internal affairs of other countries, provoking sedition and sectarian division, developing weapons of mass destruction and missile system, and the acceptance of the efforts of the United Arab Emirates to reach a diplomatic solution to the issue of the three Emirates islands, which requires a new approach, policies and new positions that support stability and cooperation.
H.H. stressed, "We also highly appreciate and commend China's positive attitude towards the signing of the Abraham peace accord peace agreement between the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain and Israel. This will promote co-existence, peace, development and stability in the region, which has suffered for decades, and will establish a new phase in the Middle East that will contribute to the realisation of the rights of the Palestinian people in an independent state, with East Jerusalem as its capital beside the State of Israel."
Sheikh Abdullah reiterated, "With regard to Yemen, we stress the importance of the Riyadh Agreement and the importance of accelerating its implementation between the Yemeni government and the Transitional Council, and we support the efforts of the representative of the United Nations Secretary-General to reach a ceasefire agreement that paves the way towards a political solution in Yemen, with the need for the international community to put an end to the flow of Iranian weapons to the Houthis targeting the security of Yemen and the countries of the region."
His Highness indicated that ''I would like to highlight the fact that the GCC countries seek peace everywhere, and in this context they support ceasefire and reaching peaceful solutions to all issue. They also applaud the joint work with China at the bilateral and collective levels in a way that serves stability, peace and development in the world.'' Sheikh Abdullah said in conclusion, "We renew our keen interest in maintaining distinguished and strategic relations with the People's Republic of China, and we are confident of achieving the ambitions of our countries in this direction in order to promote our common interests and support development and peace in the world."
The joint meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs of GCC countries with Wang Yi, Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs and State Councillor was in the framework of the existing strategic dialogue between the two sides.
The meeting discussed ways to enhance cooperation and friendship between the GCC states and China in various fields in order to achieve common interests and stress the importance of resuming free trade negotiations between the two sides.
The meeting also assessed the region’s political and security developments and the global anti-terrorism efforts, as well as several regional and international issues of mutual concern, including the Palestinian cause and the situations in Iran and Yemen while stressing the importance of coordinating to countering the challenges facing security and peace.
Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and a number of top GCC and Chinese officials attended the meeting.