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King Salman Concludes Asia Tour, Returns to Saudi Arabia | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques at the Saudi-Chinese Investment Forum. (SPA)

Riyadh and Beijing – Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz ended his official Asian tour and left China to head back to the kingdom.

King Salman embarked on a nearly two-week tour that took him to Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Brunei and China, some of world’s biggest importers of Saudi oil.

Upon his departure from China, the Custodian sent a cable of thanks and appreciation to President Xi Jinping, saying: “We are happy as we are leaving your friendly country to send our thanks and appreciation for the warm reception and generous hospitality accorded to us and the accompanying delegation.

“This visit has contributed to enhancing bilateral relations in all fields and pushing them to be strategic. We have discussed regional and international issues for the interest of our two countries and peoples in the service of international peace and security.”

At the conclusion of the visit to China, the king and President Xi issued a joint statement that said that the two officials held bilateral talks during which they exchanged views on developing relations of “comprehensive strategic partnership”.

The two sides also discussed regional and international issues of common interest.

They expressed readiness to expand horizons of cooperation in the political, security, military, economic, investment, health, education and mining fields in the service of the mutual interests.

According to the statement, the two officials also discussed means to increase cooperation in major fields, including economic and industrial projects, fields of electronic government, infrastructure, advanced technology and space, as well as expansion of mutual investment in all sectors.

Within the context of ensuring security and stability at regional and international levels, the two sides stressed the importance of achieving a just, comprehensive and lasting solution to the Palestinian cause in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. China highly appreciates the Kingdom’s efforts in enhancing peace and stability in the region, said the statement.

Both the king and the president underlined the necessity of find a solution to the Syrian crisis based on the Geneva Declaration-1 and Security Council Resolutions 2254 and 2268. They also emphasized the need to provide humanitarian and relief assistance to Syrian refugees and displaced people inside and outside of Syria.

The two officials called for maintaining the unity of Yemen and achieving its security and stability, urging a political solution to the crisis based on the Gulf initiative, the national dialogue conference and Security Council Resolution 2216. Saudi Arabia and China expressed their support for efforts exerted by UN envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed to find a political solution between the Yemeni parties, as well the international efforts exerted in this regard, said the statement.

Addressing Libya, the two officials expressed concern about its crisis, hoping that the Government of National Accord would be able to restore security and stability in the country and maintain the integrity and unity of the Libyan territories with the support of the international community.

They voiced their support for the efforts of the Iraqi government in fighting the terrorist organization ISIS, stressing the importance of preserving Iraq’s unity, stability and independence.

They both agreed that relations between the People’s Republic of China and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are to be at the forefront of their foreign relations, continued the joint statement.

The king and the president agreed to intensify visits between their leaderships and officials and to exchange views on issues of common interest.

China stressed its support for all of Saudi Arabia’s policies that are aimed at maintaining stability in the region and the positive role played by Riyadh in regional and international affairs.

The statement added that the two sides are committed to the “Doha Declaration” of China-Arab Cooperation Forum issued in May 2016, which stresses the need to respect the right enjoyed by sovereign states and member states of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in choosing ways of settling disputes.

The Chinese side supports the Kingdom’s efforts to achieve Vision 2030 and is keen to become a global partner for the Kingdom in order to diversify its economy. In return, Saudi Arabia declared its readiness to be a global partner in building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st century Maritime Silk Road. Riyadh supports China’s hosting of the Belt and Road Forum for international cooperation, said the statement.

The two sides expressed keenness on raising the level of cooperation between the two countries in the fields of energy, including supplies of Saudi oil for the growing Chinese market. Both the king and the president stressed the importance of stability of the oil market for the global economy. The Chinese side expressed its appreciation for the role played by the Kingdom, which is a safe and reliable oil provider, to ensure the stability of the international oil market.

They agreed to strengthen international economic cooperation and develop international trade within the framework of G-20 and financial and international institutions.

The two sides hailed an expected role of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and agreed to exert joint efforts in collaboration with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to accelerate establishment of the Chinese-GCC free trade zone.

Furthermore, both the kingdom and China condemned extremism and terrorism in all its forms, stressing that terrorism has no link to any race or religion.The two sides will cooperate in the fight against extremism and terrorism, stressed the statement. The Chinese side voiced its appreciation of the steps taken by the Kingdom in this regard through declaring the establishment of the Islamic Military Alliance to Combat Terrorism.

The statement also said that the Custodian met with Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China Li Keqiang and Chairman of Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China Zhang Dejiang.

The two sides expressed satisfaction with the significant progress regarding bilateral relations, especially after President Xi Jinping’s visit to the Kingdom in January 2016 where they agreed that the high-level joint committee between the two countries represents an important framework for enhancing friendship ties, as well as deepening practical cooperation in all fields.

In this regard, a number of agreements and memorandums of understanding were signed between Saudi Arabia and China, which will enhance the existing institutional framework for relations, ensure a continuation of ties and push them towards wider horizons.

The Custodian expressed his thanks and appreciation to the Chinese president and people for the warm reception and generous hospitality accorded to him and the accompanying delegation.

The top level delegation accompanying the Custodian included Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, advisor to the King, Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Sultan, advisor at the Royal Court, Prince Mansur bin Meqren bin Abdulaziz, advisor to the king, Prince Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Abdulaziz, advisor at the Royal Court, Prince Abdulaziz bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, advisor to the minister of interior, Minister of State MP Ibrahim al-Assaf, Minister of Economy and Planning Eng. Adel bin Mohammed Faqih, Minister of Education Ahmed bin Mohammed al-Issa, Minister of Transport Suleiman bin Abdullah al-Hamdan, Minister of Labor and Social Development Ali bin Nasser al-Ghafis, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Nizar bin Obaid Madani and other senior officials and royal and non-royal princes.