FM, Chinese counterpart discuss ties, Mideast

Minister of Foreign and Expatriates Affairs, Ayman Safadi, on Tuesday held talks with Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on ways to strengthen bilateral relations and open new horizons for cooperation between the two countries.

Safadi and his Chinese counterpart stressed keenness of both countries to develop economic, trade, investment and cultural cooperation and increase political coordination to solve regional crises and achieve security and stability.

The ministers hailed the steady development of cooperation between the two countries, noting the strategic partnership between the two countries launched during His Majesty King Abdullah’s visit to China in 2015.

China is Jordan’s second largest trading partner. The trade exchange between the two countries reached $ 3 billion in 2017 and China’s investment in the kingdom’s energy and mining sectors soared. The number of Chinese tourists to Jordan has increased during the past years and reached 60,000 in 2017.

The two ministers reviewed means to increase China’s investment in the Kingdom in energy, infrastructure and other sectors.

During the meeting, Safadi highlighted Jordan’s investment privileges, noting the free trade agreements that Jordan signed with the United States, Europe and other countries.

The two ministers also affirmed keenness to deepen cultural cooperation. They also pointed to the importance of the Chinese-Jordanian University, which will be established in Jordan and the Chinese Cultural Center which will be opened soon in Jordan.

The two ministers also discussed mechanism of increasing security and defense cooperation and affirmed their desire to increase political coordination and joint action to combat terrorism and achieve security and stability in the region. They also reviewed regional developments, especially those related to the Palestinian issue and the Syrian crisis.

Safadi affirmed Jordan’s support for China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), welcoming a greater economic, political and cultural role for China in the region.

For his part, the Chinese minister stressed the strong Jordan-China relations, expressing keenness to promote them in various fields.

Safadi thanked China over the additional support announced by the Chinese President to help Jordan with $15 million to cope with the burden of meeting the needs of refugees. He also valued China’s decision to provide 475 scholarships for vocational training.

The Chinese minister commended Jordan’s central role and efforts led by His Majesty King Abdullah II to achieve security, stability and peace in the region, noting that Jordan is a humanitarian model as it hosted more than 1.3 million Syrian refugees.

Safadi also praised the China’s additional aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which suffers from a financial hardship.

Safadi congratulated his Chinese counterpart on the success of the ministerial meeting of the Arab-China Forum and agreed to cooperate to prepare for the next meeting, scheduled to be held in Jordan in 2020.

Earlier, the forum accepted Safadi’s invitation to host the ninth session of the forum in Jordan.

Source: Jordan News Agency