|<center><img src='/mediafile/200902/14/P200902141056052458117697.jpg'><br><i>Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) meets with President of the Malian National Assembly Dioncounda Traore in Bamako, capital of Mali, Feb. 13, 2009. (Xinhua/Ju Peng)</i></center>
Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao on Friday met with President of the Malian National Assembly Dioncounda Traore on deepening cooperation and friendship with the country.
Hu said Mali is the first leg of his African tour which displayed China's emphasis on developing relations with Mali. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations 49 years ago, the peoples of China and Mali have built deep friendship.
In recent years, bilateral cooperation continued to be rejuvenated, with political mutual trust strengthened, economic and trade cooperation yielding good results, cooperation on education, health and tourism advancing smoothly, and mutual support and coordination on international affairs increasing, he said.
Hu said the aim of his visit is to work together with Mali to review the past, look into the future, and to promote bilateral ties. China will take the 50th anniversary of China-Mali diplomatic relations next year as the starting point to consolidate their traditional friendship, and expand pragmatic cooperation in order to boost bilateral ties to a new high.
Hu said China's National People's Congress (NPC) and Malian National Assembly have maintained close ties and good cooperation for a long time and have set up bilateral friendship teams promoting exchanges between the NPC and Malian National Assembly and deepening friendship between the two countries.
He expressed the hope that the NPC and Malian National Assembly would continue to maintain friendly exchanges and reinforce exchanges and consultation on democratic and legal construction to push forward the all-round and in-depth development of their relations.
Traore said China is a great friend of Mali. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties, Mali and China has developed relations in the spirit of solidarity, friendship and mutual respect.
He thanked China for its people's unswerving friendship with Malian people, and its political support and economic aid.
Traore said bilateral cooperation on economy, trade, education, health, culture and human resources have developed smoothly, which is a typical example of solidarity and friendship.
Mali will firmly adhere to the one-China policy and hope to reinforce exchanges between the National Assembly and the NPC, Traore said.
Hu, during a meeting with his Malian counterpart Amadou Toumany Toure on Thursday, vowed to increase aid to African countries, cancel part of their debts and expand trade and investment.