Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a phone conversation Monday with Somali Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdisaid Muse Ali on bilateral ties.
Wang said that China and Somalia enjoys a long history of traditional friendship. After the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the two countries have stood in solidarity and jointly safeguarded the health and security of both peoples.
Stressing that China attaches great importance to bilateral relations and firmly supports the Somali side in safeguarding its national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, Wang said that China is willing to take the Belt and Road cooperation and implementation of the outcomes of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) as an opportunity to elevate bilateral relations to a higher level.
China will continue to provide assistance for the reconstruction and development of Somalia, hold consultations with the Somali side on the implementation of the “nine programs” of the FOCAC, draw up the list of priorities for cooperation and provide much-needed humanitarian aid.
China will also discuss with Somalia the implementation of projects to improve people’s livelihood in areas with relatively good security situation, and strengthen practical cooperation in agriculture, fishery, health and other fields, said Wang.
China will provide Somalia with a batch of emergency food aid and more vaccines to help the country cope with drought and fight the pandemic, said Wang.
Expressing appreciation for Somalia’s active support for the China-proposed Outlook on Peace and Development in the Horn of Africa, Wang said all countries in the region are China’s good friends.
China will continue to adhere to the principle of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs and help the countries in the Horn of Africa better meet the triple challenges of security, development and governance, said Wang.
The special envoy for the Horn of Africa affairs of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Xue Bing has assumed office and will soon go to work in the region, said Wang.
China looks forward to the convening at an early date of the Horn of Africa peace conference by countries in the region through consultation, he added.
For his part, Ali said he welcomes China’s appointment of the special envoy for the Horn of Africa affairs under the current situation, and introduced the situation on the fight against piracy in Somali waters and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
The Somali side always attaches great importance to developing relations with China and will continue providing firm support for China on issues concerning its core interests and major concerns.
Expressing firm opposition to Taiwan’s collusion with Somalia’s northern region of Somaliland, which infringed upon Somalia’s sovereignty, the Somali minister said Somalia will continue to carry out strategic and practical cooperation with China.
Thanking China for its support and assistance in the reconstruction of Somalia and the fight against the pandemic as well as the severe drought, the minister said Somalia is ready to work with the Chinese side on high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, deepen bilateral cooperation in such areas as infrastructure, agriculture, education and people’s livelihood, so as to elevate Somalia-China relations to a higher level.