China and Arab states agree to co-operate on energy and technology at inaugural summit

China's President Xi renounces Islamophobia and urges international community to fight terrorism

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Countries taking part in the first Arab-China summit in Riyadh have agreed to co-operate in eight broad sectors, including energy, security, healthcare, technology and humanitarian assistance.

Speaking at the summit, China's President Xi Jinping praised the "brotherly ties" that link the nations.

The event has become the highest-level diplomatic gathering of Arab state leaders with China.

President Xi renounced Islamophobia and urged the international community to fight terrorism, while ensuring that terrorism is not "tied to any single ethnicity or religion".

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the Arab-China and GCC-China summits represented a "historic start" for the relationship between Gulf and Arab states and China.

"We aim to deepen co-operation with China in all fields and co-ordinate views on regional and international issues," Crown Prince Mohammed said.

President Xi also expressed his continued support for Iraq's economic reconstruction and national sovereignty.

Iraq's President Mohammed Shia Al Sudani said the summit presented an opportunity to benefit from "Chinese expertise in various fields, without forgetting the experiences of combating poverty and epidemics, developing agriculture in salt water, and efforts to combat desertification."

He added relations had been growing between the two states for a number of years.

During his speech, President Xi said China supports the establishment of a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, and Palestine's full participation in the UN.

Mr Xi also pledged further donations to the UN's Palestinian refugee relief agency, UNRWA.

Present at the meeting were leaders from Egypt, Algeria, Palestine, Djibouti, Sudan and Mauritania among others.

China is the largest trading partner for Arab states with trade surging from $239.8 billion in 2020 to $330.3 billion in 2021 and an estimated $319.3 billion this year, according to figures by the China-Arab States Co-operation Forum, Chinese National Bureau of Statistics and the Chinese General Administration of Customs as well as its Ministry of Commerce.

Updated: December 09, 2022, 6:52 PM