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Chinese president heads for Mali to continue state visit
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16:50, February 12, 2009

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Chinese President Hu Jintao ended his state visit to Saudi Arabia and left Riyadh for Mali on Thursday, the second stop on his "journey of friendship and cooperation."

During his visit here, his second to Saudi Arabia as head of state in three years, Hu had talks with Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz on furthering China-Saudi Arabia strategic friendly relations.

The two leaders also exchanged views on world and regional issues of common concern.

The two leaders agreed to fully deepen the China-Saudi Arabia strategic friendly ties and work together to address the world financial crisis.

President Hu and the king also agreed to enhance communications and consultations on important international and regional issues and push the bilateral ties to a new higher level.

In Riyadh, President Hu also met Abdul Rahman Al-Attiya, Secretary- General of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC), and discussed cooperation between China and GCC member countries.

Since China and Saudi Arabia established diplomatic ties in 1990, friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries have developed steadily, with increasing exchange of visits at different levels and expanding cooperation in various sectors.

Saudi Arabia is now China's largest trading partner in West Asia and North Africa, with two-way trade hitting 41.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2008.

Besides Mali, President Hu will also visit three other African countries -- Senegal, Tanzania and Mauritius.


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