Chinese foreign minister kicks off visit to Nigeria

19:48, January 08, 2010      

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Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi arrived in Abuja , capital of Nigeria, on Friday to start his one-day working visit on the second leg of his six-nation tour.

In his arrival address, Yang Jiechi said: "I am delighted to pay a visit to the Federal Republic of Nigeria at the beginning of the new year at the invitation of Ojo Maduekwe, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria."

Yang said over the 39 years since China and Nigeria established diplomatic ties, bilateral relationship has seen sound and steady growth.

In recent years, China-Nigeria strategic partnership has continued to deepen. The two countries have enjoyed growing political mutual trust, productive cooperation in economic, trade and other fields as well as mutual support and close collaboration in international affairs, he said.

With the first ever bilateral strategic dialogue held last year, the two countries further substantiated the strategic partnership. China-Nigeria relationship is showing a sound momentum of all-round and fast growth.

Yang said both China and Nigeria are major developing countries. Further consolidating and deepening China-Nigeria relationship not only serve the fundamental interests of the two countries and their peoples, but also contribute to peace and development in the region and beyond.

He said he is confident that his visit will help deepen friendship between the two countries, increase mutual trust, expand common ground and promote cooperation, thus making new contribution to China-Nigeria strategic partnership.

During his first visit to Nigeria since he took office as foreign minister in 2007, Yang will hold talks with his counterpart Ojo Maduekwe in the afternoon. He will exchange in-depth views with Maduekwe on bilateral relationship as well as regional and international issues of common interest. He is also to meet with Vice-President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan in the presidential villa.

Chinese ambassador to Nigeria Xu Jianguo and Nigerian government officials were at airport to greet the Chinese minister, who is expected to complete his visit and leave Nigeria on Saturday.

Source: Xinhua
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