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Premier Li meets emir of Qatar

Updated: Jan 31,2019 9:12 PM

Premier Li Keqiang met on Jan 31 with Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, emir of Qatar, in Beijing.

Qatar is China’s most important partner in the Middle East and Gulf area, Premier Li said, adding that Sino-Qatar relations remain healthy, and that stable development and cooperation in trade and investment continue smoothly.

He also said that President Xi Jinping is going to hold talks with him to jointly plan the development of relations between the two countries.

China appreciates Qatar’s adherence to the one-China principle and is willing to strengthen cooperation with Qatar to better benefit the two peoples, the Premier said.

China would like to explore the potential for increased cooperation and establish a long-term and stable, strategic partnership with Qatar in energy, Premier Li said.

He also said that, as a developing country that attracts the largest foreign investment, China is willing to open up investment in areas like basic industries to Qatar, with the aim of achieving mutual benefits and win-win results, deepening security cooperation between the two countries, and safeguarding peace and tranquility in the region and world.

China is willing to start the next round of negotiations with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries including Qatar on their free trade agreements (FTA), the Premier added.

Tamim said that Qatar and China have developed well politically and economically, and the cooperation between the two countries needs to be strengthened under the current international political and economic situation. “I hope new cooperation areas could be expanded through my visit,” he said.

Qatar is optimistic about the Chinese economy and is willing to explore new areas of cooperation with China and seek more investment opportunities in China. Qatar would like to work with China and other parties to promote GCC-China FTA negotiations, Tamim said.

Qatar appreciates the positive and constructive role China has been playing in the Gulf area and Arab world, and hopes it will have more influence in the future, Tamim added.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and He Lifeng, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, also attended the meeting.