UAE President Sheikh Mohamed speaks at China-Arab Forum
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UAE President Sheikh Mohamed speaks at China-Arab Forum

UAE President Sheikh Mohamed speaks at China-Arab Forum

Sheikh Mohamed highlighted the importance of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum in a time when global solidarity is crucial to facing shared challenges

Marisha Singh

The UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan reaffirmed the UAE’s commitment to fostering Arab-Chinese cooperation at the opening session of the 10th Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, held on Wednesday in Beijing.

The event, attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping and several Arab leaders, marked a significant step in strengthening ties between Arab nations and China.

In his address, Sheikh Mohamed expressed gratitude to President Xi for hosting the meeting and praised the efforts put into its organisation.

He highlighted the importance of this forum in a time when global solidarity is crucial to facing shared challenges. “The UAE believes that concerted efforts, collaboration, and international cooperation are essential to advancing countries, fulfilling their peoples’ aspirations, and ensuring a prosperous future for coming generations,” he stated.

Sheikh Mohamed underscored the UAE’s readiness to enhance collaboration with China across various sectors, including medicine, communications, information technology, and new energy, while maintaining strong investment in traditional areas like infrastructure and industry.

He also emphasised the significance of addressing the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip, advocating for an immediate ceasefire, protection for residents, and the delivery of humanitarian aid. “This situation highlights the urgent need for Arab-Chinese cooperation and international efforts to pursue a just and comprehensive peace in the region,” he said.

The UAE President lauded the longstanding and distinguished relations between China and Arab countries, which are founded on mutual respect and shared interests. He expressed confidence that the outcomes of the meeting would further enhance the level of coordination and cooperation between the two regions.

Earlier in the day, Sheikh Mohamed and President Xi posed for official photographs and participated in a group photo with other delegation heads, such as Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and Tunisian President Kais Saied attending the forum.

Image credit: WAM

UAE-China bilateral

The two leaders are expected to discuss strengthening economic, developmental, and cultural ties, celebrating the 40th anniversary of UAE-China diplomatic relations established in 1984.

China has been the UAE’s top non-oil trading partner since 2014, as per UAE government data. The volume of non-oil foreign trade between the UAE and China reached Dhs296bn in 2023.

Sheikh Mohamed’s milestone visit follows a series of high-level meetings between the leaders of the two countries, including a historic state visit by the UAE’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in 1990, and President Xi’s visit to the UAE in 2018, which elevated the relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

Established in 1984, the distinguished relations between #UAE and #China, have witnessed significant milestones. China has been the UAE’s top non-oil trading partner since 2014. The volume of non-oil foreign trade with China reached Dhs296bn in 2023.

— UAEGOV (@UAEmediaoffice) May 30, 2024

The UAE’s delegation to China includes prominent officials such as Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed, Deputy Ruler of Abu Dhabi; Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs; and Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, among others.

This visit also underscores the UAE’s active participation in China’s Belt and Road Initiative and its role as a founding member of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

The forum’s discussions are set against a backdrop of escalating tensions in the Middle East, particularly due to the conflict in Gaza. The meeting aims to enhance Arab-Chinese cooperation and address key international issues, reinforcing the strategic partnership between the regions.

Read: Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia leaders head to China

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