The Head of the Presidential Council (PC), Muhammad Menfi, has expressed Libya's desire to draw on the Chinese expertise in developing his country's economy and infrastructure, as he hailed the Belt and Road Initiative, launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013.

In a speech before the Arab-Chinese Summit that was inaugurated on Friday in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, Menfi considered the Belt and Road Initiative, which Libya joined in 2018, a promising opportunity for sustainable development and a window to strengthen bilateral relationships with China.

The Arab-Chinese Summit kicked off under the chairmanship of Crown Prince and Saudi Prime Minister Prince Muhammad bin Salman, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States Ahmed Aboul Gheit, and leaders of Arab countries.

"The Arab-Chinese summit opens prospects for a better future of cooperation and partnership between China and the Arab world in a way that serves the present and future of our peoples and enhances stability and prosperity in the region," Menfi added.

He indicated that the rapid economic and political developments in the world today require more flexibility in defining the concept of economic partnerships.

The PC chief called for moving away from the rigid traditional stereotypes that have governed political and economic relations between Arab countries and China since the middle of the last century, as he hailed the Arab-Chinese Cooperation Conference in 2004, which helped foster ties between the two sides, as he put it.

The Arabs have become China's seventh economic partner in terms of trade exchange, and the first supplier of crude oil for China's economy, Menfi explains.

In this respect, he praised the Chinese economy and the "great strides" it made since the mid-1990s, saying that it has become an example to follow and an essential engine for the global economy.

"Libya has established stable relations with the People’s Republic of China. It was founded on China’s position in support of the independence of the Libyan state in 1951, and Libya’s commitment to the principle of one China, in addition to the distinguished economic relationship, which grew at an annual rate of more than 17%, from 1995 to 2020."

He reaffirmed his government's desire to see a more prominent role for China that commensurates with its international weight and reflects the deep relationship between the two countries.

"This will lead to the rotation of the wheel of development and the return of Chinese companies to work in infrastructure and urban development projects," the PC head said, calling on China to harness its capabilities to achieve stability in Libya and ensure its independence and territorial integrity.

At the end of his speech, Menfi called on "the Arab brothers" and China to provide the highest levels of support for the PC's efforts to achieve the desired goals as soon as possible.