President Hu kicks off Sudan visit

Updated: 2007-02-02 13:30

Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived in Khartoum Friday by special plane for a state visit, which is expected to cement the friendship and expand cooperation between China and Sudan.

President Hu flew in from the Liberian capital of Monrovia after a one-day visit.

In Khartoum, Hu will meet his Sudanese counterpart Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir for talks centered on enlarging friendly cooperation between the two countries.

They will also exchange views on regional issues and other issues of common concern, according to a Chinese foreign ministry official.

In recent years, trade between China and Sudan has increased rapidly. In the first 11 months of 2006, trade volume amounted to 2.9 billion U.S. dollars.

Cooperation between the two countries covers sectors such as construction, agriculture, medical and health work and education.

President Hu is on the third leg of an eight-nation tour of Africa, which has taken him to Cameroon and Liberia and will also take him to Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique and Seychelles.

Hu's Africa trip comes only three months after the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). At the summit, leaders of China and 48 African countries discussed how they could develop China-Africa relations and promote unity and cooperation among developing countries.

The leaders agreed to establish and develop a new type of strategic partnership featuring political equality and mutual trust, economic win-win cooperation and cultural exchanges.

Earlier, the Chinese president described his Africa trip as "a journey of friendship and cooperation."

He said that his visit to Africa aimed to consolidate the traditional friendship between China and Africa, implement the agreements reached at the Beijing Summit of FOCAC last November, increase cooperation and promote development.

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