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Xi arrives in Riyadh for China-Arab summit, China-GCC summit and state visit

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Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday arrived in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

He will attend the first China-Arab States Summit and the China-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit in Riyadh and pay a state visit to Saudi Arabia from December 7 to 10 at the invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia.

Xi delivered a written speech extending sincere greetings and good wishes to the government and people of Saudi Arabia on behalf of the Chinese government and people.

He said China and Saudi Arabia have stepped up strategic mutual trust and produced fruitful outcomes in practical cooperation since establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Xi said he will have an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral ties and international and regional issues of common concern during his visit with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The president said he is looking forward to attending the first China-Arab States Summit and the China-GCC Summit, working with the leaders of the Arab countries and GCC countries and taking China-Arab and China-GCC relations to a new level.

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, the 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 government officials.

(With input from Xinhua)

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