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China stands ready to propose the "Initiative of Peaceful Development in the Horn of Africa" to support regional countries in addressing security, development and governance challenges, visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here Thursday.

Wang elaborated on China's views on the current situation in the Horn of Africa when meeting with journalists after holding talks with Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Raychelle Omamo.

The Horn of Africa, albeit with a unique strategic location and great development potential, has in recent years experienced flare-ups of hot issues and eruptions of conflicts and confrontations, which run counter to the interests of the people in the region and have to be stopped, Wang said.

China is willing to propose the initiative to support the region in realizing long-term stability, peace and prosperity, Wang said.

First, the Horn of Africa should strengthen intra-regional dialogue to overcome security challenges, he said.

The countries and people in the region should stay out of the geological competition between major countries, firmly follow the path of unity and self-improvement, and hold the region's fate in their own hands through equal consultation, Wang said.

It is suggested that regional countries hold a peace conference to conduct in-depth discussions, reach political consensus, and coordinate joint actions on this issue, he said.

China is ready to appoint a special envoy for the Horn of Africa affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, to provide necessary support to this process, he added.

Second, the Horn of Africa should accelerate regional revitalization to overcome development challenges, Wang said.

The region should expand and strengthen, and extend to neighboring countries in a timely manner, the two main axes of the Mombasa-Nairobi railway and the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway, while accelerating the development along the coasts of the Red Sea and of East Africa, so as to form a development framework of "two axes plus two coastal areas," he said.

The regional countries should also speed up the building of industrial belts and economic belts, create more jobs and promote growth, and enhance capacity for independent development, so as to keep pace with the times, he said.

Third, the Horn of Africa should explore effective ways to overcome governance challenges, Wang said.

China supports the regional countries in seeking development paths that suit their own national conditions, he said, adding that the Horn of Africa should strengthen exchanges on national governance, share with each other useful experience, and break through governance bottlenecks.

The countries in the region should properly handle various ethnic, religious and regional disputes in an African way, and build a united, stable and harmonious environment for development in the Horn of Africa, he said.

As a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and a sincere partner of Africa, Wang stressed, China will deepen the synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and Africa's development strategies, take solid steps to advance the "nine programs" put forward at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, and make unremitting efforts for and play a constructive role in the peace and development of the Horn of Africa. 

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