President El-Sisi’s Speech at the First China-Arab States Summit in Riyadh
Friday، 09 December 2022 - 12:00 AM
“In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful”
My Brother, Your Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz,
Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Your Excellency President Xi Jinping..
President of the People's Republic of China
Your Majesties, Excellencies and Highnesses,
Kings, Presidents and Emirs of Arab countries
Your Excellency, Mr. Ahmed Aboul Gheit
Secretary-General of the League of Arab States
Ladies and Gentlemen members of the delegations
May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon you
Allow me, at the outset of my speech, to express gratitude and appreciation for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the hospitality and warm reception, and to congratulate the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on hosting the first China-Arab States Summit.
Brothers and Sisters
We all know the long-established bonds that our countries and peoples have shared throughout history. Our countries, which are gathering today, have established the modern human civilization, that we are living, when the Pharaonic civilization, the civilization of Mesopotamia, as well as other civilizations in our Arab region connected with the ancient Chinese civilization to represent bright suns, guiding humanity in its cradle and helping it take its first steps.
The partnership between our peoples and countries were strengthened with the rise of the Arab and Islamic civilizations; so they merged with the ancient Chinese civilization on a robust and solid base of human, cultural and trade engagement, which ensured the exchange of ideas and the blending of cultures. Since the dawn of history, our countries presented to the world the concept of a nation-state, with all its pillars. And in their efforts toward achieving progress of civilization, they were committed to maintaining the balance between the material and spiritual aspects of human existence. Together, in modern history, we fought together a multitude of battles for the sake of freedom and political independence, and for the sake of development and building our economies. And we are still working on endorsing a World Order that is more just and that is based on human values and rules of international law, in order to reach a fruitful Arab-China cooperation through “The China-Arab States Cooperation Forum” (CASCF) and its various mechanisms, that bring us together today.
Arab-China cooperation was established on maximizing benefits and joint interests, addressing development challenges, boosting South-South cooperation and prioritizing the preservation of international peace and security and the International Order, which are based on the UN Charter, international law, seeking peaceful political solutions for international and regional crises, and respect for the special characteristics of the peoples and their freedom of choice, without guardianship or foreign intervention. Their cooperation is also based on rejecting the politicization of human rights issues, promoting inter-civilizational dialogue and the convergence of cultures, as well as cooperation in the face of climate change challenges, the spread of diseases, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and in combating the threats of terrorism and extremist ideology, whenever and wherever they are.
Based on these foundations, our meeting today earns symbolism and special importance, particularly at this delicate time, when we are witnessing successive international changes and global crises that pose colossal challenges.
In the face of these formidable challenges, the need arises for evoking all potential for cooperation among the friends and brothers, particularly if they already exist on a solid foundation of understanding and coordination, similar to the one in place between the Arab World and China.
Your Majesties, Excellencies and Highnesses
One of the most dangerous challenges the world, particularly developing countries, are facing today is the food crisis and its repercussions. This urges us to strengthen the Arab-China Partnership in the face of these challenges, by bolstering the frameworks of multilateral cooperation so as to develop a prompt and vigorous international response to the needs of the developing countries, and work within the South-South cooperation context to develop agriculture and food industries, enhance the transfer and localization of the industry, boost capacity-building, improve the infrastructure in rural areas and transfer agricultural technology and sustainable modern irrigation systems.
These crises have also burdened our countries and their government budgets, which urges the international community to reduce the debt burden on countries that suffer from high food and energy import bills. This shall take place while working to strengthen the rules-based multilateral trading system, and redrafting the frameworks of governance of the international economy and international financial institutions in order to be more fair, transparent, all-inclusive, not eliminating developing countries, and more responsive to the challenges these countries are facing. This is, in addition to refocusing their tasks on achieving the goals of sustainable development, mainly “the eradication of poverty”.
Despite the global challenges, some of which I mentioned, and the sharp global polarization, Egypt’s COP27 Presidency succeeded in convincing the international community to reach consensus on a large number of vital matters during the World Climate Summit, COP27. On top of these are the establishment of “The Loss and Damage Fund”, an agreement on taking serious steps to reinvigorate and implement international funding pledges, and adaptation and mitigation actions in a balanced manner.
I am confident that our cooperation during Egypt’s COP27 Presidency, whether on the bilateral level or within the framework of “The China-Arab States Cooperation Forum”, will secure the implementation of the “Global Commitment to Climate Change”, particularly those pertinent to financing by developed countries.
Your Majesties, Excellences and Highnesses,
Our will to enhance the joint institutional cooperation was embodied in the establishment of “The China-Arab States Cooperation Forum” in 2004, and today this will has reached its climax with the first China-Arab Summit meeting.
There is no doubt that all of us will spare no effort to strengthen and support the existing partnerships between us, foremost of which is the partnership within “The Belt and Road” and “Global Development” Initiatives, and the opportunities they offer to magnifying Arab-China cooperation and boost investment opportunities in various fields.
I call on everyone today to consider this summit as a new starting point for economic cooperation between the Arab world and China. While China is already the leading trade partner of a large number of Arab countries and we share vital investment cooperation, there are still broad prospects for cooperation between our countries, and we can achieve more and more in numerous economic, development and technological fields.
Prospects for Arab-China cooperation and opportunities for its development are not limited to the economic and development aspects, but extend to political and cultural areas. China’s balanced policies towards various Arab issues, in general, and the Palestinian issue, in particular, as well as China’s support for the Palestinian legitimate right to establish an independent Palestinian State, along the June 4th, 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, were highly appreciated and respected in the Arab world.
The Arab states have reciprocated China’s balanced and supportive positions, with positions supportive and understanding of China’s issues and concerns.
This convergence of visions and perspectives encourages further coordination on various international and regional issues of priority to each of us. Based on the rule of respect for the sovereignty of states and non-interference in internal affairs, we can cooperate to explore ways to address crises in Syria, Libya and Yemen, and other areas that face terrorism in all its forms, to end the suffering of peoples, establish peace and security and prioritize development over struggle and conflict.
Let me stress, once again, on an issue that I am confident concerns us all, given the constraints and risks it bears and as it amounts to be an existential threat: the issue of "Arab Water Security".
For this, I call for prioritizing this issue in our future cooperation, within "The China-Arab States Cooperation Forum", and for discussing cooperation methods to address this challenge with various technological, economic and political tools.
I would also like to, once again, call on the brothers in Ethiopia to engage in good faith with Egypt and Sudan to reach a legally-binding agreement, that secures the rights of development for present and future generations and spares them from threats to their stability, security and safety.
Finally, I would like to say that it is with this unique history, which characterized Arab-China human and civilizational engagement, the numerous commonalities shared in visions and concepts and with the mechanisms, programs and proposal of "The China-Arab States Cooperation Forum”, I am fully confident that the convening of our summit today will give enormous impetus to our cooperation in all its forms. I am also confident that when we meet again in the near future, we will have accomplished a lot and achieved additional strides on the pathway of our cooperation.
May Allah’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you