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China, Egypt elevate bilateral ties to comprehensive strategic partnership
2014/12/29
 

Chinese President Xi Jinping (L front) holds a welcoming ceremony for visiting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R front) before their talks in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 23, 2014. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)

BEIJING, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with visiting Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Sisi in Beijing on Tuesday, deciding to elevate the bilateral relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

"This is an important milestone," Xi said during the talks.

The establishment of the partnership will strongly boost cooperation between the two countries in several areas.

In a joint statement signed by Xi and Sisi on establishing the partnership, the two presidents pledged to boost political, economic, military, cultural and technological cooperation along with cooperation on regional and international affairs.

China pays great attention to the situation in Egypt and firmly supports the Egyptians' pursuit for a development path suitable for their own national conditions, Xi told the Egyptian leader.

Xi said he believes the Egyptian government and people are wise and able enough to handle all problems and achieve stability and development in the country.

Hailing the traditional friendship between the two countries, Sisi expressed his gratitude for China's support and assistance, especially for understanding the Egyptian people's request for change in recent years.

The two leaders also pledged to cooperate on the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road Initiatives.

China stands ready to combine the initiatives with Egypt's plan for development and boost cooperation in infrastructure, nuclear power, new energy, aviation, finance and other sectors, said the Chinese president.

Sisi said the Belt and Road Initiatives proposed by Xi have provided an important opportunity for Egypt's renewal and that the Egyptian side will participate in the initiatives in an active way.

Sisi looked forward to China's participation in Suez Canal Corridor projects, pledging that Egypt will create favorable conditions to attract Chinese companies' investment.

In August, President Sisi gave the go-ahead signal for digging a 72-km expansion of the original Suez Canal as a national project to boost the country's ailing economy, ordering "the New Suez Canal" to be open for maritime navigation in early August 2015.

Sisi also hoped more Chinese tourists will visit Egypt as more Egyptian students study in China.

During the talks, Sisi briefed Xi on his view on the situation in North Africa and West Asia.

Xi said as the situation there is complicated, it is of vital importance to find a solution that reflects regional realities and cover the interests of all sides concerned in a political way and through inclusive dialogue.

In the joint statement signed on Tuesday, the two countries reiterated they will support each other on issues regarding core interests and care for each other's special concerns.

Egypt emphasized its stance of sticking to the one-China policy and China stressed its position of respecting the Egyptian people's rights to choose their political system and development policy on their own as well as opposing external forces' attempt to interfere in Egypt's internal affairs in any name.

China attaches great importance to Egypt's concern over water security, according to the statement.

In the statement, the two sides upheld that disputes between countries should be addressed through dialogue and negotiations, opposing interference into other countries' internal affairs with military forces in any name and politicizing issues on human rights.

The two sides pledged to safeguard the United Nations' key role in addressing international affairs and support reform of the United Nations and the UN Security Council.

The representation of developing countries, especially of African countries, should be strengthened first to rectify injustice that Africa has suffered in history, said the joint statement.

China supports Egypt's crucial role in resolving the Palestine issue and other major issues in the region as well as the Egyptian initiative on rendering the Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction. Egypt appreciates China's objective and impartial position and constructive role in the Palestine issue and other major issues in the region, according to the statement.

They pledged to increase coordination and cooperation to jointly safeguard peace and stability in the region, according to the statement.

Sisi arrived in Beijing Monday afternoon for a four-day state visit to China at Xi's invitation.

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