In a huge diplomatic initiative, the Chinese President Xi Jinping has arrived at Saudi capital of Riyadh to attend the first China - Arab Summit followed by Gulf Cooperation Council Summit. Xi’s state visit to Saudi will last up to the 10th and comes at the invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia.
The timing comes at a point when Saudi ties with Washington are at a low over OPEC countries’ decision to cut down produce.
The Chinese Foreign Minister had issued a report earlier on China - Arab cooperation in the new era, describing the summit as a milestone event. The summit shall be attended by several Arab leaders as well as foreign ministers.
The Chinese delegation is expected to sign several pacts relating to energy, national security and infrastructure facilities. Xi is slated to attend a slew of conferences on Saturday.
The China - Arab States Cooperation Forum was established in 2004 as part of strengthening relations between the two countries and the present summits are seen as part of this exercise.
US was snubbed by OPEC decision to cut oil production despite its objections. US dubbed the decision as politically motivated and result of Russian pressure, an accusation that the OPEC countries squarely denied.