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FM begins visit to Africa, makes first stop in Cairo

By CAO DESHENG | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-01-09 07:10

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi shakes hands with Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit of the League of Arab States in Cairo, Egypt, Jan 7, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi called for deepening the strategic partnership between China and the League of Arab States in upholding international peace and justice and promoting the political resolution of hot regional issues.

Wang made the remarks on Tuesday in a meeting in Cairo, Egypt, with Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit of the League of Arab States.

It was the first stop on Wang's first trip of the year, which will also take him to Djibouti, Eritrea, Burundi and Zimbabwe.

China considers the league's role to be an important one and appreciates its upholding fair and objective positions on major international and regional issues. It supports Arab countries' use of the league as a platform for coordination in coping with challenges, Wang said.

He hailed the outstanding achievements of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum and underlined the need for the two sides to use the ninth ministerial meeting of the forum, which is set for later this year, as an opportunity to raise a unified voice on developments that affect the region.

Gheit said the league attaches great importance to relations with China, adding that all league members are willing to discuss the building of a China-Arab states community with a shared future.

The Arab states appreciate China's fairness and the positive role it plays in resolving issues in various hot spots in the Middle East, Gheit said, and they thank China for its consistent, firm support of the Arab people, particularly the Palestinians, as they strive to protect their rights and interests.

Speaking about issues related to China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Wang expressed gratitude to Gheit for the league's staunch support for China's policies. He said the country will welcome officials from Arab states who want to visit Xinjiang so that they can witness the situation firsthand and feel the effects of the region's anti-terrorism and deradicalization measures. They can also observe the religious freedom, stability and prosperity of the region, he said.

Gheit said the league fully understands China's position on Xinjiang and opposes interference in China's internal affairs.

In an interview with Egypt's Al-Ahram newspaper on Wednesday, Wang criticized some Western media reports about Xinjiang, saying they were prejudicial and "choose to ignore basic facts".

The media fabricate lies to smear and discredit the counterterrorism and deradicalization efforts in Xinjiang, and even try to drive a wedge between China and Islamic countries, Wang said.

He expressed confidence that the people of Egypt and the wider Islamic world will take an objective and impartial position and not be deceived by such deliberate misinformation.

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