Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (R) meets with visiting Arab League Chief Nabil al-Arabi in Beijing, capital of China, May 8, 2012. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)
BEIJING, May 8 (Xinhua) -- China and the League of Arab States (AL) pledged to further their strategic cooperation and expand cultural exchanges, according to a meeting between Vice President Xi Jinping and AL Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby Tuesday in Beijing.
Xi hailed the unique role the AL has played in the Middle East affairs. He said China appreciates AL's valuable support on issues concerning China's core interests and major concerns and its decision to strengthen relations with China.
China always supports the Arab countries in striving for their legitimate national rights, and hopes the AL will continue to play a leading role in promoting China-Arab friendship, Xi said.
The vice president added that deepening strategic cooperation between the two sides is import to the construction of a harmonious world with long-term peace and common prosperity.
He urged the two sides to enhance political mutual trust, deepen strategic cooperation, increase cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and strengthen the build-up of the China-Arab cooperation forum.
Xi said the Chinese government attached high importance to the fifth ministerial meeting of the forum, which is slated for the end of May, and hopes the two sides will take the meeting as an opportunity to consolidate the China-Arab relationship.
Elaraby said long-term close ties with China are in Arab countries' interests and are conducive to regional peace, stability and development.
He thanked China for its support of Arab countries' pursuit of justice and spoke highly of the active role China played in international and Middle East affairs.
The AL will continue to make concerted efforts with China for a successful holding of the ministerial meeting and promote the development of the Arab-China strategic relationship of cooperation, he said.
After the meeting, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met with Elaraby.
The two sides exchanged views on preparation for the fifth ministerial meeting of the China-Arab cooperation forum as well as the situation in Western Asia and North Africa.
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (R, front) meets with visiting Arab League Chief Nabil al-Arabi in Beijing, capital of China, May 8, 2012. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)