Chinese FM meets Qatari counterpart


HEFEI, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met on Wednesday with Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in Tunxi, east China's Anhui Province.

The Qatari top diplomat is in China to attend the "neighboring countries of Afghanistan plus Afghanistan" foreign ministers' dialogue.

Wang said Qatar has participated in the political settlement of a number of hotspot issues and made great contributions to international peace and cooperation. China supports countries in the Middle East to strengthen their unity and development and build a collective security structure in the region.

He called on the two sides to continue to support each other in safeguarding their core interests and strengthen the alignment of the Belt and Road Initiative with Qatar's development strategy. China is willing to be a long-term, reliable, and stable energy cooperation strategic partner of Qatar and actively expand cooperation in the whole industry chain.

Mohammed spoke highly of China's significant role in addressing the Afghanistan issue, lauded China's objective and fair position on Palestine, and congratulated China on the successful hosting of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games.

Mohammed said Qatar attaches great importance to the Belt and Road Initiative and is willing to be an active participant. Qatar will also continue to facilitate Chinese enterprises' investment in Qatar.

Mohammed said Qatar firmly supports the one-China principle and opposes foreign interference in China's internal affairs. He added the economic and trade cooperation between Qatar and China has continued to expand.

China has become the most important energy partner of Qatar, and Qatar is willing to be China's sustainable and stable energy supplier, Mohammed said.

The two sides agreed to promote the upgrading of cooperation between China and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Mohammed expressed his support for the signing of a free trade agreement between China and the GCC at an early date.

The two sides also exchanged views on other topics, including the Iran nuclear issue.