Sunday, October 19, 2008

Chinese diplomat: Ties with Africa advancing in all-round way

A senior official of Chinese Foreign Ministry said here Saturday that the new China-Africa strategic partnership is moving forward in an all-round and coordinated way.

Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Zhai Jun made the remarks at the sixth senior officials meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation opened Saturday in the Egyptian capital of Cairo.

Addressing the meeting, Zhai said the success of the FOCAC Beijing summit two years ago turned a new page in the history of China-Africa relations.

"We are happy to see that progress has been made in implementing the follow-up actions to the Summit," said Zhai, adding China and Africa now enjoy closer political relations, deeper practical cooperation, diversified cultural exchanges and stronger partnership in international affairs.

Egyptian Assistant Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ali Hassan, on behalf of Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit, said Egypt strongly believes that the FOCAC is a unique example of cooperation between two partners, who are equal in rights and obligations, bound by common goals and interests.

In the two-day meeting, delegates from the 50 FOCAC members will review the implementation of the follow-up actions, make preparation for the fourth ministerial conference scheduled for 2009.

The meeting will also discuss cooperation between China and Africa in agriculture and food security and infrastructure construction.

The FOCAC was jointly proposed and established by China and more than 40 African countries in 2000. It consists of meetings at three levels: the ministerial conference, senior officials meeting, and negotiation between the Chinese Follow-up Committee of the Forum and the African Diplomatic Mission in Beijing.

During the Beijing summit of the FOCAC in 2006, commemorating the 50th anniversary since China started forging ties with African countries, the Forum members agreed to establish a "new type of strategic partnership" between China and Africa.

Source: Xinhua

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