Iraqi President visits northwest China

UPDATED: 08:19, June 25, 2007

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani will leave for east China on Monday after a two-day visit to northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

Talabani, the first Iraqi president to visit China since the establishment of China-Iraq diplomatic ties 49 years ago, started his China tour on June 20 and flew to Xi'an, capital city of Shaanxi, on Saturday.

During his stay in Xi'an, Talabani had a meeting with executive vice governor Zhao Yongzheng.

Talabani said he hopes his visit will promote mutual understanding between Iraq and China. He said Iraq, which respects the one-China policy, hopes to build a closer relationship with China as 2008 is the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.

He said he had a better understanding of the efforts of the Chinese government to unify the country peacefully after seeing the ancient culture of China.

Talabani also voiced his intention to import equipment from Shaanxi for Iraq's reconstruction.

He said the agreements signed with the Chinese government during his visit will boost the China-Iraq relationship.

Zhao said Shaanxi is willing to cooperate with Iraq in line with central government policies, and he encouraged Iraqi companies to look for commercial opportunities in China.

Chinese Ambassador to Iraq Chen Xiaodong said China and Iraq, having friendly political relations and growing economic ties, will see broader cooperation in the future.

Talabani also visited the famous Terra-cotta Museum and a local company during his stay.

Talabani is on a seven-day state visit to China from June 20-26 at the invitation of Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Prior to his Shaanxi tour, Hu held talks with him during his stay in Beijing. Top legislator Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao also met with Talabani.

Source: Xinhua

People's Daily Online ---