China's President Xi to visit Saudi Arabia, says kingdom's foreign minister

A date has not yet been confirmed for the visit

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, left, shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping before proceeding to their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Friday, Feb. 22, 2019. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hailed relations with China as trouble-free, during talks Friday with President Xi Jinping in Beijing aimed at strengthening relations in the face of criticism from the West over the kingdom's human rights record and its war in Yemen. (Liu Weibing/Xinhua via AP)
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China's President Xi Jinping is expected to visit Saudi Arabia in the near future, the kingdom's Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, said on Thursday.

The announcement of the visit, and summits between Middle East nations and the Chinese government, came after talks between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Prince Faisal.

The talks were the fourth meeting of the political and diplomatic sub-committee under the China-Saudi Arabia high-level joint committee.

"Our meeting today comes at an important time, as it precedes the expected visit of the Chinese president to the kingdom and before the Saudi-Chinese summit, the Gulf-Chinese summit, and the Arab-Chinese summit, which the Kingdom views with great interest and is working to finalise all arrangements for it, for its success," Prince Faisal told Saudi TV outlet Al Ekhbariya.

"The historical and solid relationship between our two countries is based on common principles and mutual respect, which contributed to the consolidation of international peace and stability."

China’s ruling Communist Party affirmed Mr Xi's third five-year term as leader on Saturday.

"China attaches great importance to the development of China-Saudi Arabia relations and puts Saudi Arabia at a priority position in China's overall diplomacy, its diplomacy with the Middle East region in particular," Mr Wang said, according to the Xinhua news agency.

Mr Xi's last visit to Saudi Arabia was in 2016. In 2019, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited Beijing and hailed relations with China.

Updated: October 27, 2022, 8:57 PM