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Li hopes for more fruits in friendship with Pakistan

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-05-24 01:18

ISLAMABAD - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday expressed the hope that, with joint efforts, the traditional friendship between China and Pakistan could bear more fruits.

China-Pakistan friendship is time-tested and even more precious than gold, Li said in an address to the Pakistani legislators.

"As Pakistan's closest friend and brother, we would like to provide as much assistance as we can for the Pakistani side," said the visiting Chinese premier.

Li is paying a two-day official visit to Pakistan, the second leg of his first overseas tour after assuming premiership in March. The visit has already taken him to India, while the next two stops are Switzerland and Germany.

"The deeply-rooted traditional friendship has laid a solid foundation for further development of China-Pakistan relations, while in the fast-changing era, we should do even better to advance the bilateral strategic cooperation in an all-around way," Li said.

The two sides should expand pragmatic cooperation in various fields, said the premier, highlighting the planning of a China-Pakistan economic corridor and improvement of connectivity between South Asia and East Asia.

Hailing Pakistan's long history and rich culture, Li said, over the past 60-plus years, the Pakistani government and people have made great achievements in building up and rejuvenating the nation, and have appropriately handled grim challenges.

He lauded Pakistan's role in promoting regional cooperation in South Asia and safeguarding regional and international security.

"We sincerely hope that the brotherly Pakistani people will make even more accomplishments in their national development, and that the country will play an important, constructive role in international and regional affairs," Li added.

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