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Official: President Hu's visit to promote Sino-Saudi friendly co-op
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16:01, February 11, 2009

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Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to Saudi Arabia will greatly help promote the two countries' friendly cooperation in various fields including culture and science and technology, head of a leading Saudi science agency has said.

Dr. Mohammed ibn Ibrahim Al-Suwaiyel, president of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), told Xinhua in a recent interview that he is looking forward to President Hu's visit to KACST, an independent scientific organization administratively reporting to the prime minister.

Hu arrived in Riyadh on Tuesday for a three-day state visit and is expected to visit KACST on Wednesday.

Mohammed said KACST has direct cooperation with many international scientific bodies, which include the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

A 20-member team from CAS is working with their Saudi counterparts on such projects as date planting and camel gene research, Mohammed said.

KACST in 2007 also signed a memorandum of understanding with Huawei Technologies, China's leading telecommunications equipment manufacturer, to strengthen cooperation on telecom technology and personnel training.

"The cooperation is generally good, but I think it is far from enough. I hope the cooperation can be specified, ever-lasting and deepened," Mohammed added.

Mohammed, who has been to China twice, is now expecting his third trip to Beijing in April, where he will attend an international academic conference.

The 58-year-old science advisor to Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz started learning Chinese two years ago.

"When President Hu shakes hands with me, I will greet him in Chinese: Welcome to Saudi Arabia," Mohammed told Xinhua.

Saudi Arabia is the first leg of Hu's five-nation tour. The trip will also take him to Mali, Senegal, Tanzania and Mauritius.

Source: Xinhua

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