Presidents vow to strengthen relations

(China Daily)
Updated: 2007-02-03 07:29

KHARTOUM: Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao and his Sudanese counterpart Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir held talks in Khartoum on Friday, pledging to take Sino-Sudanese bilateral relations to a new high.

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir (R) and Chinese President Hu Jintao wave during a visit to the Chinese-built Khartoum oil refinery, February 2, 2007.

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir (R) and Chinese President Hu Jintao wave during a visit to the Chinese-built Khartoum oil refinery, February 2, 2007. [Reuters]

The two leaders held frank, in-depth and fruitful discussions on bilateral ties and major regional and international issues.

The two leaders praised the smooth development of Sino-Sudanese relations. Hu said Sudan was one of the first group of African and Arab countries to establish diplomatic ties with China. Forty-three years ago, then Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai visited Sudan, ushering in a new chapter in bilateral ties.

Hu said the peoples of the two countries trusted each other and had forged a sincere and friendly relationship over the past decades, and bilateral ties had survived the changing international situation.

Bilateral cooperation has made progress in various areas in recent years, enriching ties and bringing tangible benefit to the people of the two countries, he added.

Al-Bashir said Sudanese-Chinese ties, based on equality and mutual respect, benefited both countries in terms of increasingly close economic and trade relations.

Hu flew into Khartoum from the Liberian capital of Monrovia after a one-day visit.

Meanwhil, Hu and Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf agreed on Thursday to push forward the consensus the two sides have reached on bilateral cooperation.

In talks held shortly after Hu's arrival in Monrovia from Cameroon, the two leaders said that concerted efforts from both sides would strengthen China-Liberia relations.

Hu said ties between the two countries had been developing rapidly since the resumption of diplomatic ties in 2003, with high-level exchanges increasing, mutual political trust enhanced, and trade and economic cooperation making headway.

Inter-governmental projects had gone smoothly and cooperation in the fields of education, health and human resources had yielded fruitful results, said the Chinese president, adding that China and Liberia had also maintained sound cooperation on international affairs.

Hu said the participation of Chinese soldiers in the UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia had contributed to peace, stability, reconstruction and development in the country.

Johnson-Sirleaf said Hu's visit to Liberia was of great historical significance.

The visit indicated that China is a friend to Africa and Liberia, she said. Liberia hopes to learn from China's economic development, and to cooperate in the fields of trade, investment and infrastructure construction, she added.

Johnson-Sirleaf reiterated the Liberian government's adherence to the one-China policy and voiced support for the development of relations between China and Africa.

After their talks, Hu and Johnson-Sirleaf witnessed the signing of seven documents on economic, technological, health, education and agricultural cooperation. The two leaders also attended the inauguration of a China-aided malaria prevention and treatment center.

"China has brought pride to Liberia. For the first time a world leader has come to this poor country," said Ruth Davies, a 38-year-old student. "This is a historic time for us."

Agencies contributed to the story

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