"International cooperation with strategic partners is a top priority, to achieve aspired common goals," Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told the seventh preparatory ministerial meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in Beijing Sunday.
Shoukry said the FOCAC 2018 meeting is being held at a critical time as the world is witnessing growing political challenges negatively affecting international cooperation, pointing out that poverty and poor rates of development continue to be the most salient challenges facing developing nations, especially in the African continent.
Shoukry also said the growing threat from terrorism, extremism and transnational organised crime aggravates these challenges.
Shoukry praised the fruitful outcome of the meetings of senior state officials Saturday, which resulted in a declaration and ambitious work plan for 2019-2021, expressing his well wishes for a successful FOCAC summit that meets the aspirations of the Chinese and African peoples and serves their common benefit.
The Egyptian foreign minister is in Beijing as part of a top level Egyptian delegation headed by Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, who is on a three-day official visit to China.
El-Sisi is expected to address the forum on Monday.
Egypt has said it appreciates the role of China as a strategic partner to Africa, highlighting Beijing's continuing support to the continent and respect for the sovereignty of its states.