Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) addresses a press conference with Gabon's Foreign Minister Noel Nelson Messone in Libreville, Gabon, Jan. 15, 2018. (Xinhua/Wang Songyu)
LIBREVILLE, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Gabon's Foreign Minister Noel Nelson Messone on Monday expressed appreciation for China's long-term and sincere support for his country's development, hailing China as a reliable friend.
In a meeting with visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Messone said Gabon and China agreed to lift their relations to a comprehensive cooperative partnership during President Ali Bongo Ondimba's visit to China in 2016, ushering bilateral relations into a historic new stage.
Messone hailed China as Gabon's reliable friend, saying China's long-term and sincere support in areas such as politics and economy has played a significant role in Gabon's development.
He reiterated Gabon's adherence to the one-China policy, and its support for China's legitimate rights and interests on issues such as the South China Sea.
Messone said that Gabon is willing to continue mutually beneficial cooperation with China on trade, infrastructure, agriculture, education, health and defense.
Gabon stands ready to join the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China, said Messone, adding that the initiative will help build a world economy that is more open and promote Africa's development.
Gabon is also willing to play an active role in efforts to ensure the success of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit, and to deepen Africa-China cooperation, said Messone.
For his part, the Chinese foreign minister, who is on the third leg of his four-nation visit to Africa, called on both sides to take concrete measures to implement their comprehensive cooperative partnership.
As trustworthy and supportive partners, China and Gabon should continue to understand and support each other on issues concerning each other's core interests, said Wang.
China supports Gabon's efforts to realize economic diversification, said Wang, adding China will continue to provide necessary support for Gabon in infrastructure development.
China will also promote industrial cooperation with Gabon in key areas such as mining, fishery, forestry and agriculture, and help Gabon elevate self-development capacity, said Wang.
He also called for bilateral cooperation in efforts to deal with regional and global challenges, and strengthen their communication and coordination on regional and international issues such as climate change in order to maintain the common interests of developing countries.
China appreciates Gabon's consistent efforts to promote Sino-African relations, said Wang, expressing hope that Gabon will contribute to the successful holding of the FOCAC summit in Beijing and the further development of China-Africa comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.