China's Xi calls Saudi crown prince to discuss Mideast peace

Ahram Online , Tuesday 28 Mar 2023

China is ready to work with Saudi Arabia to make all-out efforts to build a China-Arab community with a shared future and contribute more to peace, stability and development in the Middle East, President Xi Jinping said in a phone call with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday.

MBS and Xi
File photo: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, Feb. 22, 2019.


China-Saudi Arabia relations are currently at an all-time high, Xi said, citing his successful state visit to Saudi Arabia at the end of last year.

He expressed his willingness to work with Saudi Arabia to implement the outcomes of his state visit, saying China and Saudi Arabia will continue to firmly support each other on issues involving their respective core interests.

During the call, the two leaders reviewed aspects of partnership between the Kingdom and China, as well as joint efforts to enhance cooperation between the two countries in various fields.

Xi also mentioned the first China-Arab States Summit and the China-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit as being equally successful, saying they have helped promote China's relations with Saudi Arabia, the GCC and other Arab states,

The Chinese side also stands ready to expand practical cooperation and people-to-people exchanges with Saudi Arabia, and push for greater development of China-Saudi Arabia comprehensive strategic partnership, Xi added.

China is willing to work with Saudi Arabia to make all-out efforts to build a China-Arab community with a shared future for the new era and make more contributions to promoting peace, stability and development in the Middle East, Xi said.

The Chinese leader highlighted Beijing’s positive role in the region, citing the recent Saudi-Iranian rapprochement, which culminated in a Chinese-brokered deal to restore ties between the two regional heavyweights.

Following the agreement, Xi called for China to play a bigger role in managing global affairs.

On his part, the Saudi crown prince conveyed King Salman's greetings to Xi, and extended again his warm congratulations on Xi's reelection as Chinese president, while expressing the Saudi side’s sincere appreciation to China for its strong role in helping restore Saudi-Iranian relations.

This has fully demonstrated China's role as a responsible major country, the Saudi crown prince said, adding that China is an important partner of Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi side attaches great importance to the development of relations with China and is willing to work with China to open up new prospects for cooperation between the two countries, he added.

The positive sentiment comes after Riyadh and Tehran announced, March 10, that after seven years of severed ties, they would reopen embassies and missions within two months and implement security and economic cooperation agreements signed more than 20 years ago.

An Iranian official said on March 19 that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi had favourably received an invitation to visit Saudi Arabia from King Salman, though Riyadh has yet to confirm.

More recently, Saudi and Iranian foreign ministers have vowed to meet before the end of the holy month of Ramadan to implement a landmark reconciliation deal, the two countries said on Monday.

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