BEIJING: Kuwait and China held official talks in the Chinese city of Wuxi yesterday, co-presided over by Kuwaiti Foreign Minister and State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Dr Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah and Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The talks came within the framework of the Kuwaiti minister’s official visit to China, heading a Kuwaiti delegation that comprised several senior officials.
During the meeting, Sheikh Dr Ahmad conveyed the greetings of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah to the government and people of China. He touted the firm and close relations between Kuwait and China, underlining that it is important to promote bilateral cooperation and mutual coordination to serve common interests, while upgrading relations to new horizons.
He added that Kuwaiti-Sino relations have been greatly developed over 50 years in various cooperative domains, pointing out harmony between Kuwait Vision 2035 and China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The foreign minister boasted that Kuwait is the first Gulf and Arab country to have signed a memo of understanding for cooperation with China in the Belt and Road Initiative, which was launched in September 2013. He also spoke highly of existing cooperation between both nations at international fora, hoping that this could continue at all levels.
Meanwhile, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi conveyed the greetings of Chinese President Xi Jinping to His Highness the Amir, as well as the government and people of Kuwait. He said his country is proud of close friendly relations and existing strategic partnership with Kuwait in all fields. He added that amid the multiple and major changes the world is undergoing, Sino-Kuwaiti relations of all-out strategic partnership have been becoming firmer and closer.
During the official talks, both sides considered close ties and mutual high-level visits and meetings, the last of which was by Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, to Kuwait in February 2021 and the meeting between both Kuwaiti and Chinese foreign ministers in the Uzbekistan capital of Tashkent on July 16, 2021. They also looked into ways of creating fresh horizons for joint cooperation in various sectors at the behest of both countries’ leaderships, in addition to response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Both sides finally discussed the latest regional and international developments and exchanged views on a set of issues and subjects that concern both nations.
In his statement during talks with his Kuwaiti counterpart, Minister Yi praised Kuwait’s political and diplomatic ties with all countries, especially with China. According to the statement, the Chinese minister hailed Kuwait’s vital role in maintaining peace and stability regionally and globally. The minister stressed that the leaderships of the two countries had established a high degree of mutual trust and friendship, which provided security and political stability for the Sino-Kuwaiti relations, and their development and advancement.
Furthermore, he touched on the historic and friendly ties between the two countries, saying that Kuwait was the first Gulf country to establish diplomatic relations with China, and it was the first to respond to the Belt and Road Initiative. The statement also said that the two sides agreed on the need to enhance compatibility between the Belt and Road Initiative and Kuwait Vision 2035 and speed up the formulation of a five-year cooperation plan and the establishment of a work mechanism in this regard. Both sides also shed light on regional and international issues, such as Palestine, Yemen and the Iranian nuclear file, in addition to the situation in Iraq and Syria, it added.
China backs GCC
Earlier yesterday, Minister Yi said that China firmly supports GCC countries in safeguarding their national independence, security and stability. The Chinese minister made the remark while meeting with the visiting Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary-General Nayef Al-Hajraf in Wuxi, China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by Xinhua news agency. He said that, in recent years, China and the GCC have consolidated their political mutual trust and deepened practical cooperation, adding that China appreciates the GCC’s understanding of and support for China’s propositions on issues concerning China’s core interests and major concerns. He said that China will continue to oppose any country’s interference in the internal affairs of GCC countries under the pretext of “human rights” and oppose linking terrorism with any particular religion or ethnic group.
Both China and the GCC are important forces for stability, Wang said, adding that in the face of uncertainties caused by profound changes of a scale unseen in a century and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, both sides should work together to play a more positive role in promoting regional peace and stability as well as world peace and development. The two sides agreed that the conditions for China and the GCC to establish a strategic partnership are ripe, and they will accelerate this process. They will also work together to formulate and sign an action plan for strategic dialogue in the next three years. The two sides agreed to complete negotiations on a free-trade agreement between China and the GCC at an early date, and agreed to strengthen coordination and cooperation on international and regional affairs to jointly address global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. The Chinese foreign minister and the GCC chief also exchanged views and coordinated their positions on the Iranian nuclear issue and the Yemen issue. —KUNA