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Premier Li due in Pakistan on Wednesday

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-05-21 22:59

ISLAMABAD -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will pay an official visit to Pakistan from May 22-23, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

It is the first visit of Premier Li Keqiang to Pakistan after he became premier of the People's Republic of China.

"The visit takes place immediately after the democratic elections in Pakistan. It will provide an opportunity to Premier Li to meet the new political leadership in Pakistan," a Foreign ministry statement said.

"Premier Li Keqiang's visit will also provide further impetus to our strategic cooperation. The friendly ties and the friendship with China is the cornerstone of Pakistan's foreign policy," it said.

Upon his arrival on Wednesday, the Chinese premier will meet President Asif Ali Zardari who will host a luncheon in his honor.

The prime minister will host a banquet for the Chinese premier in the evening.

In addition to bilateral meetings with the Pakistani president and prime minister, Premier Li Keqiang will hold a joint meeting with chairman of Senate and speaker of National Assembly and also address the Senate. Leaders of the political parties will also meet the Chinese premier, the Foreign Ministry said.

On May 23, President of Pakistan Muslim League (N), Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif will call on Premier Li, the Foreign Ministry said.

Premier Li Keqiang will also visit the Pakistan-China friendship Center along with the prime minister and meet with friends who have played a role in promoting Pakistan-China relations. He will also plant a tree at Shakarparian.

"Pakistan and China are 'all weather' friends. Their traditional and friendly cooperative ties are based on shared principles and mutual interests entailing cooperation in diverse fields," the Foreign Ministry said.

Both countries hold identical views on major world issues and cooperate at international forums. The two peoples have had a long and rich history of close and cordial ties.

Premier Li Keqiang's visit will mark yet another important step forward in reinforcing the strategic partnership between the two countries and open up new avenues for bilateral cooperation, it added.

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