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Chinese president arrives in Egypt for state visit

(Xinhua)    08:23, January 21, 2016

CAIRO, Jan. 20, 2016 -- Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi(R front) greets Chinese President Xi Jinping (L front) upon his arrival in Cairo, Egypt, January 20, 2016. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Cairo Wednesday for a state visit to Egypt, the second leg of his three-nation Middle East tour. (Xinhua/Ju Peng)

CAIRO, Jan. 20 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived here Wednesday for a state visit to Egypt, the second leg of his three-nation Middle East tour.

To welcome the first visit of a Chinese president in 12 years, Egypt sent eight fighter jets to escort Xi's plane when it entered the country's airspace.

Xi was received by his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, and a number of senior officials at Cairo International Airport in the afternoon.

"If you drink from the Nile, you will return," Xi quoted an Egyptian proverb in his written remarks upon arrival, recollecting his visit to Egypt 16 years ago.

Xi said he is happy to see that the Egyptian people, under the leadership of President Sisi, are working hard to maintain social stability, develop the economy and better people's livelihood.

"We believe that the people of Egypt, with their diligence and wisdom, can surely overcome difficulties and challenges in their path, and continue to make progress, so that to realize the Egyptian dream of building a strong country and enriching the people," Xi said.

Xi's visit comes as China and Egypt mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic ties.

Egypt was the first Arab and African country to build diplomatic relations with China. The two sides, treating each other with mutual understanding, respect, trust and support, have been developing their ties in a healthy and stable manner, said Xi.

Recalling Sisi's visit to China in December 2014 when China and Egypt elevated their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership, Xi noted that bilateral relations are at a important phase now, and that the two countries should well inherit their past traditions and break new grounds for the future.

Xi said he looks forward to exchanging views with Sisi and other Egyptian leaders on ties and issues of common concern, and mapping out long-term plans for the development of bilateral relations.

Xi's Belt and Road Initiative is expected to be a focus during his talks with Egyptian leaders, which is estimated to offer important opportunities for Egypt's renewal.

In a signed article published on Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram on Tuesday, Xi wrote that "China welcomes Egypt and other Arab countries to get on board the fast train of its development, and hopes that our respective development and growth could be well aligned and mutually reinforcing."

During his stay in Cairo, Xi will also deliver a speech at the Arab League headquarters to elaborate China's propositions on promoting peace and development in the Middle East.

Just ahead of Xi's visit, China published its Arab Policy Paper, reaffirming the strategic significance that Beijing attaches to the region.

It is China's long-held diplomatic principle to consolidate and deepen China-Arab traditional friendship, read the paper, the first of its kind issued by the Chinese government.

It meanwhile underlines China's wish to enrich and deepen all-round, multi-layer and wide-ranging cooperation with Arab nations, and safeguard peace, stability and development of the region and the world at large.

Before Egypt, Xi paid a state visit to Saudi Arabia. His Middle East tour, his first overseas visit in 2016, will later take him to Iran.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Editor:Ma Xiaochun,Bianji)

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