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|Monday, September 03, 2001, updated at 09:22(GMT+8)|
Chinese Premier Arrives in Ireland for Official Visit
Premier Zhu and his wife Lao An were greeted at the airport by Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, Ms Celia Larkin, Foreign Minister Brian Cowen, Minister for Public Enterprise Mary O'Rourke, Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment Tom Kitt and other senior Irish government officials.
Ahern held a welcoming ceremony at the airport for the Chinese premier, who reviewed the guard of honor.
Ireland is the first leg of Premier Zhu's four-nation tour, which will also take him to Belgium, Russia and Kazakhstan. The Chinese premier will hold talks with his Irish counterpart Ahern, meet speakers of the Irish House of Representatives and the Senate. The two countries are expected to sign a memorandum of understanding on culture cooperation.
In a written airport statement, Zhu said that he was very happy to pay an official visit to this beautiful country and he had brought cordial greetings and best wishes to the Irish people.
The Chinese premier said his visit would help to enhance understanding between the two governments, deepen the existing friendship between the two peoples and cooperation between the two countries.
Although China and Ireland are geographically far apart from each other, there exists no conflict of fundamental interests between them, Zhu said. "Our two countries share broad interests in maintaining world peace and promoting common development."
The premier said that relations and cooperation between China and Ireland have been growing in all areas, featuring frequent exchanges of visits, deeper mutual understanding, expanded economic and trade relations, and active exchanges in science, technology and education.
The Chinese government and people hope to develop sustained and stable friendly relations and cooperation with the Irish government and people, Zhu said.
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