Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said that the Arab-Chinese summit stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation between the Arab countries and China.

Addressing a joint press conference with the Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit and GCC Secretary General Nayef Al-Hajraf at the conclusion of the Arab-China and the Gulf-China summits here on Friday, the minister emphasized that cooperating with a country the size of China will help confront challenges.

Noting that Saudi Arabia is open to everyone, Prince Faisal said the Kingdom believes in cooperation with everyone to achieve mutual interests.

“We have strategic partnerships with many countries including the US, India, China, Japan and Germany. Cooperating with the world’s number two economy is necessary, however this doesn’t mean not cooperating with the world’s number one economy,” the minister said.

He emphasized that Saudi Arabia has common interests with China and America, saying “we will continue to work to achieve them.”

Prince Faisal also said that competition is positive while polarization is not. “We do not believe in polarization or selecting between one partner and another,” he said while reiterating that the Kingdom will continue to set its policies based on its own interests.

“The Kingdom’s economy is rapidly growing, and we need all partners. We have mutual interests with both the US and China, and we will continue to work to achieve them,” he said.

The minister said that the GCC states and China discussed working to conclude a free trade agreement between the two sides. Communication with China constitutes an extension of permanent communication with all countries of the world.

“The Kingdom does not deal with one path, and we are open to everyone, and we believe in multilateral cooperation, and the relationship with China is deeper than just an issue of armaments. We will continue to formulate our policies according to our interests and are open to all.”

China is very keen on the stability and security of the region, he stressed while pointing out that the China-Arab Cooperation Forum was not born today, but dates back to 2004.

The Kingdom is an active player in the political arena and has an important role in the world, Prince Faisal said, adding that economic development is the source of the Kingdom’s foreign policies.

For his part, Aboul Gheit affirmed that the Arab countries and China agreed on the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of states. He noted that the Riyadh Declaration includes a common vision. The Arab League chief expressed his hope that the implementation and follow-up of the Riyadh Declaration and the Arab-Chinese summit would continue.

On the Palestinian issue, he stressed the need to demand the United Nations for granting full membership for Palestine.

Referring to the dam issue, Aboul Gheit stressed that the Arab countries support Egypt and Sudan in their water security, repeating the statements of the Egyptian president at the summit, saying, “a legal and binding agreement must be reached on the issue of the Renaissance Dam.”

On his part, GCC Chief Al-Hajraf said that collective action is a guarantee of securing stability and security, stressing the continuation of the process of economic integration and development. He added that the security and stability of the Gulf region are important to the security and stability of the world.