DOHA, 13th May 2016 (WAM) – Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation headed the UAE delegation to the 7th Ministerial meeting of China-Arab Cooperation Forum, which concluded in Doha last night.

The forum was attended by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, a number of Arab ministers and Secretary General of the Arab League Dr. Nabil Al Araby.

Reem Al Hashemi said in her speech before the forum that the UAE realises the importance of enhancing ties of friendship and cooperation between China and the Arab countries.

She referred to the visit made by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, last December to China as an example of “our ambition and determination to strengthen our ties with China, through a strategic partnership and a mechanism for communication, coordination and exchange of views between the leaderships in the countries.”

She also said the UAE was satisfied with the level of progress made in the two sides’ relations and praised China’s initiatives of establishing the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road economic belt.

Reem Al Hashemi also highlighted the vital role China can play in the counter-terrorism efforts in the region, given its regional and international weight as a permanent Security Council member.

She renewed UAE’s rejection to all forms of interference in the Arab countries affairs and called on Iran to stop its interference in such affairs to maintain principles of good neighbourliness and to respect sovereignty and interest of each country.

She also reiterated UAE’s strong belief in the rule of law and the importance of using peaceful means to resolve international disputes. She urged Iran to heed UAE’s repeated calls to reach a peaceful solution to end its occupation of the UAE’s three islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa, either through direct negotiations, or by referring the issue to arbitration, in line with the UN Charter and principles of international law.

WAM/bashir