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Many Arab nations back China's stance on South China Sea

CHINA'S stance on the South China Sea is backed by many Arab countries, which expressed staunch support for Beijing's efforts to settle the issue peacefully.

In a statement issued at the 7th Ministerial Meeting of China-Arab Cooperation Forum, the participating Arab countries said they support China's efforts to peacefully resolve territorial and maritime differences with certain nations through friendly dialogue and negotiation.

They also stressed that the rights of sovereign nations as well as the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) signatories to choose how to solve their disputes should be respected.

Earlier, Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Araby made a similar statement at a joint press conference with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Bin Jassim Al-Thani.

He said both the Arab world and China will continue to support each other on issues concerning their respective core interests.

On Thursday, Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour also expressed the country's support for China's stance on this issue while meeting with Wang after the ministerial conference.

Ghandour stressed Sudan's firm stance on the issue of the South China Sea, backing China's legitimate rights in preserving territorial integrity and sovereignty.

While meeting Wang at the sidelines of the conference, Dr. Nizar Bin Obaid Madani, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, said his country appreciates China's adherence to peaceful means in settling disputes concerning the South China Sea.

In Doha, Wang held separate meetings on Wednesday with Abdelkader Messahel, Algerian Minister of Maghreb Affairs, high-profile officials of the African Union and the Arab League as well as his Lebanese counterpart Joubran Bassil, Yemeni Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Abdulmalik al-Mekhlafi.

During their meeting, Wang briefed Messahel on the historical facts about, and China's principled position on, the South China Sea issue.

Messahel said Algeria fully understands and supports China's position on the issue, and supports the settlement of relevant disputes through direct dialogue.

Bassil expressed support for China's position on the South China Sea, and Mekhlafi also expressed support for China's just position on the issue.

Manila unilaterally initiated an arbitration case against China over the maritime disputes at an international tribunal in The Hague in early 2013 under the UNCLOS.

China insists that the South China Sea disputes should be resolved peacefully through negotiation between the parties directly concerned.

Wang said last month that China is exercising its legitimate right to reject a compulsory arbitration, adding that the Philippines' attempt to pressure China over an arbitration of maritime disputes is "either political arrogance or legal prejudice."

Under Article 4 of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, signed by China and ASEAN countries, the disputes should be resolved through consultations and negotiations by parties directly concerned.


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