Gulf ministers arrive in China for five-day visit

i24NEWS - AFP

2 min read
The Kuwaiti delegation, meeting with China's delegation at Kuwait's Foreign Ministry in the capital Kuwait City, February 23, 2021.
KUNA / AFPThe Kuwaiti delegation, meeting with China's delegation at Kuwait's Foreign Ministry in the capital Kuwait City, February 23, 2021.

The officials are expected to speak about strengthening energy ties

Foreign ministers from Gulf countries arrived in Beijing on Monday for a five-day visit to strengthen energy ties with China.

The ministers from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, and the Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Nayef al-Hajrah, will be in China until Friday.

Al-Hajraf "expressed aspirations that the visit will contribute to enhancing GCC-Chinese relations," Saudi Press Agency reported. 

He also said that the visit "constitutes an opportunity to review the GCC-Chinese cooperation aspects and further enhance friendship and cooperation relations in a way that serves joint interests and boosts security and stability."

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The officials are expected to speak about strengthening energy ties. 

The visit follows a flurry of diplomatic activity by China's foreign minister Wang Yi, including a tour of Africa and visits to the Maldives and Sri Lanka.

China has sought in recent years to bolster its ties with the Gulf states, with President Xi Jinping in 2014 aiming to more than double trade with the region by 2023.

The potential agreement was first tabled in 2004, with the two sides discussing the possibility of resuming negotiations in March last year.

The Gulf Nations and China have “provided each other with firm support on issues concerning their core interests, and have promoted practical cooperation in various fields with fruitful results,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Monday, according to The Associated Press.