Xi congratulates Arab League Summit

2024-05-17 10:18:46China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

President Xi Jinping reaffirmed on Thursday China's readiness to work with Arab countries to continue carrying forward the spirit of China-Arab friendship and building a higher level of China-Arab community with a shared future.

Xi made the remarks in a congratulatory letter to the 33rd Arab League Summit held in Manama, Bahrain. The letter was extended to Bahrain King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, rotating president of the Council of the Arab League.

He pointed out that the Arab League has long been committed to the unity and self-improvement of the Arab world and to promoting the peaceful and stable development of the Middle East.

The Chinese president commended efforts from Arab nations in upholding independence and autonomy, advancing development and revitalization, adhering to fairness and justice and maintaining regional peace and stability in recent years.

The Arab nations have played an increasingly important role in strengthening unity and cooperation among the Global South and safeguarding their common interest, he said.

Ties between China and Arab nations are at their best in history, he said, adding that he and Arab leaders agreed to build a China-Arab community with a shared future for a new era during the first China-Arab Summit in December 2022.

He highlighted the increasingly heightened political mutual trust, robust pragmatic cooperation, flourishing people-to-people exchanges and fruitful outcomes in cooperation across various sectors between the two sides after the summit.

As Beijing is set to host the 10th Ministerial Conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum later this month, the president expressed hope that the event can serve as an opportunity for both sides to deepen cooperation in various sectors and deliver more benefits to the people of China and the Arab world.

While in Manama, Bahrain called for a Middle East peace conference on Thursday at the start of the summit dominated by the Israel-Hamas conflict, which has been raging in the Gaza Strip without a cease-fire in sight.

Bahrain's king was addressing fellow heads of state and government at the 22-strong grouping in the capital city, more than seven months into a conflict that has convulsed the region.

" (We) call for an international conference for peace in the Middle East, in addition to supporting full recognition of the State of Palestine and accepting its membership in the United Nations," said the king.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said at the summit: "It has now become critical to activate the Arab safety net, to boost the resilience of our people and to enable the government to carry out its duties."

Support gained

Chief of Arab and African Affairs at Bahrain's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Al Turaifi told United Arab Emirates newspaper The National that what made this year's summit different was that the world "has finally awoken following the tragedy of the people in Gaza", noting the overwhelming support at the recent United Nations General Assembly vote for broadening Palestinian rights, indicating "the two-state solution was the only path forward".

At his speech during the preparatory meeting of Arab Foreign Ministers of the league on Wednesday, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan emphasized Saudi Arabia's firm principles of defending the Arab aspirations and strengthening its foundations of peace, stability and development.

He said his country made all efforts to gain international support "to stop the brutal Israeli attacks "and establish an immediate and permanent cease-fire in Gaza.

The summit also comes as 20 international aid organizations released a statement on Wednesday, blaming the international community for "failing to act" as the Israeli military pushed into Rafah and singling out the United States for bearing a "significant responsibility" for Israel's International Humanitarian Law, or IHL, violations.

The statement read that "Third States" have the responsibility to urgently act to end and then pursue accountability for, the "Grave Breaches of IHL taking place in Gaza".

"In addition to halting the transfer of high payload bombs, the US should also use all its leverage to halt the ongoing military operation in Rafah.

"In fact, all suppliers of arms have to respect the Human Rights Council resolution voted on April 5 calling on them to cease the sale, transfer, and diversion of arms, munitions, and other military equipment to Israel," the statement said.

"All states must act now to ensure an immediate and sustained cease-fire," it added.


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