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Gulf Officials Call on China to Expedite Completion of Free Trade Negotiations

Gulf Officials Call on China to Expedite Completion of Free Trade Negotiations

Thursday, 13 January, 2022 - 09:45
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmed Al-Nasser Al-Sabah (KUNA)

Kuwait and China held official talks in Wuxi on Wednesday, tackling regional and international developments and exchanging views on issues of common interest.

The talks, which were led by the Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi and Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmed Nasser Al Sabah, reviewed bilateral ties and cooperation in various vital fields, state news agency KUNA reported.

Officials representing four GCC countries arrived in China earlier this week for a five-day visit to discuss significant rise in oil prices. The Arab delegation included the Foreign Ministers of Saudi Arabia, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Kuwait, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Nasser Al Sabah, Oman, Badr bin Hamad Al-Busaidi and Bahrain, Abdul Latif Al-Zayani, as well as the GCC secretary-general Nayef Al-Hajraf.

The visit of the Gulf quartet is expected to achieve progress in discussions on the free trade agreement between China and the Gulf Cooperation Council.

“We believe the visit by Foreign Ministers of GCC member states and GCC Secretary General will further deepen the relationship between China and GCC countries and promote exchanges and cooperation in various sectors so as to deliver more outcomes to the benefit of the people in China and GCC countries,” said Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Al-Hajraf, for his part, emphasized the importance of the Gulf-Chinese relations and the keenness of the GCC states to strengthen cooperation and ties between the two sides in various fields.

His comments came during an official meeting with Wang Yi, in the presence of Abdul Rahman Al-Harbi, head of the Gulf Negotiations Team. The officials discussed the ongoing free trade negotiations, underlining the need to expedite the file to achieve common interests.

A joint statement issued by the GCC delegation and the Chinese Foreign Ministry stated that the two sides have agreed to set up a strategic partnership as soon as possible to enhance cooperation, tackle challenges and serve their common interests. They also decided to sign an action plan for 2022-2025 and accelerate the establishment of a Chinese-GCC free trade zone.

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