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World leaders greet Chinese lunar New Year
Updated: 2005-02-09 19:29

Leaders of foreign countries and international groups sent congratulatory messages to China on the traditional Chinese lunar New Year.

French President Jacques Chirac expressed his best wishes for the Chinese lunar New Year in a message addressed to Chinese people and hoped that the new partnership between France and China will further promote in the new year.

US President George W. Bush on Tuesday extended greetings to Asian Americans on the Lunar New Year of 2005, which falls on Wednesday.

"I send greetings to those celebrating the Lunar New Year, the Year of the Rooster," Bush said in his message on the 2005 Lunar New Year.

For many Asian Americans, the Lunar New Year is a special time of thanksgiving and celebration, and has long been an opportunity for families to honor the past and welcome the future, he said.

In marking this special occasion, "you help preserve your rich heritage and ensure that your values of family, faith, and respectfor tradition are passed on to future generations," he said.

Italy is willing to work together with China to infuse new vitality in bilateral ties, Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi said in his message.

Javier Solana Madariaga, secretary-general of the council of the European Union and EU security chief and director of the European Defense Agency, said the EU stands ready to further promote bilateral relations as 2005 marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of formal diplomatic ties between the two sides.

Former Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk said he hopes China willreach greater achievements in the cause of national construction under the leadership of the Communist Party of China.

Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo expressed his support for the cause of unification in China.

In addition, Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of East Timor, Jose Ramos Horta, sent congratulatory messages.

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