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Chinese VP Xi arrives in Ankara for official visit

(Xinhua)

08:06, February 21, 2012

Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping (front L) arrives in Ankara on Feb 20, 2012 for an official visit to Turkey. (Xinhua Photo)

ANKARA, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping arrived here Monday evening for an official visit to Turkey at the invitation of Turkish President Abdullah Gul.

"The main purpose of my visit is to deepen mutual understanding and the traditional friendship between our two peoples, and boost the friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Turkey in a variety of fields so as to better benefit the two countries and the two peoples," Xi said in a written speech upon his arrival at the Esenboga Airport in Ankara.

"Turkey, like China, has a long history and colorful cultures. Friendly exchanges between China and Turkey date back to ancient times," Xi said.

"We are pleased to see the continuous development in bilateral cooperation in the political, economic, cultural and other fields since China and Turkey established diplomatic relations in 1971," the Chinese leader noted.

"As two important developing nations, China and Turkey share extensive common interests in safeguarding world peace, promoting common development and meeting global challenges," Xi said, adding that China is willing to strengthen its ties with Turkey in a bid to further push forward their strategic partnership.

During his stay, Xi will meet separately with Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Parliament Speaker Cemil Cicek.

Turkey is the last leg of Xi's three-nation tour, which has already taken him to the United States and Ireland.

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