Saudi Crown Prince: China-Gulf summit establishes historic, new phase of cooperation

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The China-Gulf summit kicked off in Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh on Friday in the presence of Gulf leaders and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The meeting “reflects a mutual desire to enhance Chinese-Gulf cooperation,” Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said during his address, adding that the summit “establishes a historic new phase of Chinese-Gulf cooperation.”

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He added that there have been discussions to establish a Chinese-Gulf free trade zone.

Xi, during his address, said that Gulf countries and China could achieve industrial and economic integration, complemented by the establishment of a Chinese investment council with Gulf countries.

The Chinese president also said there are concerted efforts with Gulf countries to activate payment systems in local currencies.

According to the final communique issued after the summit concluded, the leaders encouraged communication and cooperation in the fields of culture, education, tourism, media and sports, and academia.

On Qatar’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup, the leaders decried the “malicious media campaigns against Qatar,” and praised the Gulf state’s success as host of the world’s biggest sporting event.

They also stressed that relations between Gulf states and Iran must be based on “neighborliness and non-interference, respect for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, and resolving disputes by peaceful means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and international law,” the statement added.

The meeting also discussed the existing issues in Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Libya, and Afghanistan.

Ahead of the summit, Xi had held bilateral talks with Kuwait Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal al-Sabah, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Iraqi Prime Minister Shia al-Sudani, Sudanese leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

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