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Chinese Embassy in Iraq Reopens
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China on Friday formally reopened its embassy in Iraq, after more than four months of preparations for this move, a senior Chinese diplomat in Baghdad said.


Sun Bigan, currently head of the Chinese mission team in Baghdad, told Xinhua that China's decision to reopen its embassy here showed that the Chinese government attaches great importance to China-Iraq relations.


"The move also showed the support of the Chinese government for the Iraqi interim government," he said, adding that he sees a bright future for the cooperation between the two countries in all aspects.


An Iraqi foreign ministry source said that Iraq will take steps to guarantee safety of the Chinese diplomatic officials, and welcomes Chinese enterprises to participate in Iraq's reconstruction.


Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing on Thursday talked by phone with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiar al-Zibari, saying China supports the Iraqi interim government and will further bilateral friendly cooperation in line with mutual respect, mutual benefit and equality.


The Chinese foreign minister also said that China hopes Iraqi's interim government, with the help of the international community, can stabilize its security situation at an early date and push forward its reconstruction in a comprehensive way.


China withdrew its diplomats just days before the breaking out of the US-led war on Iraq last March. During last summer a small group of Chinese diplomats came back to Baghdad only for security situation assessment.


Later on Feb. 16 of this year, a Chinese mission team returned back to Baghdad to make preparations for the reopening of the embassy. During the over four months of their stay they have made wide contacts with the Iraqi and coalition authorities.


On April 11 seven Chinese workers were abducted by armed men in central Iraq, but they were released and handed over to Chinese diplomats here after 25 hours.


(Xinhua News Agency July 10, 2004)

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