Saudi, Chinese Foreign Ministers hold press conference

January 14, 2010

Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal praised the increasingly cooperative relationship between the Kingdom and China during a joint press conference held in Riyadh on Tuesday following talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. “The Saudi-Chinese relationship is in its early days,” he commented. “However, I expect a huge boom in the future.” Yang’s visit coincides with the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Prince Saud noted that the day’s meeting involved consultations on several international issues, including the Palestinian crisis, Iran’s nuclear program, the situation in Iraq and the fight against terrorism.

Regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict, Prince Saud criticized Israel for ignoring U.N. resolutions and rejecting reasonable proposals to resolve the situation. Arab countries have done their duty by presenting the Arab Peace Initiative, he insisted, which gives Israel the security it seeks, but if one party does not want peace, then peace won’t be achieved. For his part, Foreign Minister Yang reaffirmed China’s call for serious negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis with the ultimate goal being the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Turning to the Iranian nuclear standoff, Prince Saud stated, “I have told His Excellency of our support for the efforts of the P5-plus-1, of which China is a member, aimed at solving the crisis through dialogue and by peaceful means, and guaranteeing the right of Iran and other states in the region to the peaceful use of nuclear energy, according to the standards and procedures of International Atomic Energy Agency.” The Chinese Foreign Minister agreed that the Iranian nuclear file should be solved through political diplomatic channels with an eye towards regional stability.

On the situation in Iraq, Prince Saud expressed hope that the forthcoming elections will help the Iraqi people achieve their aspirations of security, prosperity and territorial integrity. Foreign Minister Yang reported that China has extended assistance to Iraq through reducing its debts and forging agreements between Chinese and Iraqi companies.

Finally, Prince Saud said that the fight against terrorism was discussed, with both countries denouncing the phenomenon in all of its forms. He stressed the importance of intensifying worldwide counterterrorism efforts and intelligence sharing, while avoiding stereotyping people according to their race, religion or nationality.