Saudi Crown Prince: Arab states look forward to new phase of partnership with China

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Arab countries seek to improve cooperation with China and look forward to a new phase of partnership, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Friday at the China-Arab summit.

“The Kingdom is working on enhancing cooperation [with China] to serve international stability,” the Crown Prince said at the summit which brought together Arab leaders and Chinese President Xi Jinping who is on a three-day official visit to the Kingdom.

Meanwhile, Xi said the summit “will lead to a brighter future,” adding that China seeks “comprehensive cooperation” with Arab states to serve Chinese-Arab mutual interests.

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The president also voiced the importance of maintaining the region’s stability, adding that China supports Arab efforts to reach “political solutions” to urgent matters in the region.

Xi also said that Islamophobia and extremism must be confronted, adding that “terrorism” must not be associated with a specific religion or race.

On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Xi said the “historical injustice” which the Palestinian people have endured “must not go on,” adding that China supports the establishment of a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi also highlighted the significance of Arab-Chinese ties, saying coordination with China must be increased to resolve regional and international crises.

Commenting on current challenges, al-Sisi said water security represents “an existential threat,” hence the matter must be a priority in terms of cooperation.

He also called on Ethiopia to engage “in reaching a final solution to the issue of the Renaissance Dam.”

The massive $4.2 billion dam has been at the center of a regional dispute ever since Ethiopia broke ground on the project in 2011.

Egypt and Sudan view it as a threat because of their dependence on Nile waters, while Ethiopia deems it essential for its electrification and development.

Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he stands with China against the “malicious campaigns” it’s facing.

On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Abbas condemned Israel’s attempts to alter the Arab identity of Jerusalem and said Israel must be held accountable for its violations.

“The international community must boycott any Israeli government that does not recognize peace,” he added.

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