China Welcomes Uzebekistan's Involvement in "Shanghai 5" Process

Uzebekistan's Involvement in "Shanghai 5" Process Welcomed
Chinese President Jiang Zemin met with Uzebekistan President Islam Karimov in Dushanbe Wednesday and said that Uzebekistan's involvement in the "Shanghai Five" summit meeting was of major importance in promoting regional cooperation.

Karimov attended the summit meeting of the heads of state from China, Tajikistan, Russia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, or the " Shanghai Five" nations, in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe for the first time, but as an observer.

Top leaders from the five countries held their first summit to exchange views on regional and international issues of common concern in Shanghai, China, in April 1996. And the annual summit mechanism of the five nations is thereafter referred to as the " Shanghai Five."

"I welcome you to attend the 'Shanghai Five' meeting," Jiang said to Karimov, noting that Uzebekistan is a country of important influence in the central Asian region.

Uzebekistan's participation in the "Shanghai Five" mechanism was of important significance to the further development of the five-nation cooperation process and it opened a new channel for cooperation between China and Uzebekistan, Jiang said.

Karimov said his country highly appreciates China's principled stance in world affairs and that Uzebekistan is a reliable and trustworthy partner of China.

He also expressed his gratitude to China and the other four countries of the "Shanghai Five" mechanism for inviting him to attend the Dushanbe Summit.

During their meeting, the two presidents also exchanged views on issues of common interest, Chinese Foreign Ministry officials said.

People's Daily Online ---