Xi lands in Riyadh for China-Arab States Summit, China-GCC Summit, state visit


RIYADH, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived here Wednesday afternoon to attend the first China-Arab States Summit and the China-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit, and pay a state visit to Saudi Arabia at the invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia.

Xi's plane was escorted by four fighter jets from the Royal Saudi Air Force after it entered Saudi Arabia's airspace, and by six Saudi Hawk jets from the royal aerobatic team after it entered Riyadh's airspace.

He received a grand and warm welcome when the plane arrived at the King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh. A 21-gun salute heralded the arrival. The Saudi Hawks painted the sky in red and yellow, colors of China's national flag.

Honor guards flanked the purple carpet. Chinese and Saudi national flags fluttered in the wind. The Chinese president was warmly greeted by Governor of Riyadh Province Prince Faisal bin Bandar Al Saud, Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Minister Yasir Al-Rumayyan who works on China affairs and other key members of the royal family and senior officials of the government.

Xi issued a written statement, in which he extended warm greetings and best wishes to the government and people of Saudi Arabia on behalf of the Chinese government and people.

China-Saudi Arabia strategic mutual trust has been strengthened and the bilateral practical cooperation in various fields has yielded fruitful results since the establishment of diplomatic ties 32 years ago, Xi noted.

In particular, Xi said, since the establishment of the China-Saudi Arabia comprehensive strategic partnership in 2016, King Salman and him have worked together to steer bilateral relations on a path of significant progress, which has not only benefited their people, but also contributed to regional peace, stability, prosperity and development.

Xi noted that during the visit, he will have an in-depth exchange of views with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common concern, and jointly chart the course for China-Saudi Arabia relations.

Xi also said that he looks forward to attending the first China-Arab States Summit and the China-GCC Summit, and working with leaders of Arab states and GCC countries to push China-Arab and China-GCC relations to new heights.

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