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Chinese, Bulgarian Foreign Ministers on Promoting Relations

Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan and visiting Foreign Minister Solomon Passy of Bulgaria held talks Monday and agreed to push forward bilateral relations.

Tang said the relations between China and Bulgaria have progressed well in spite of the changes which have taken place in the international environment and in the two countries.

Especially in recent years, the two countries have expanded cooperation in political, economic, cultural and educational areas, and the Chinese side is satisfied with this, Tang said.

China respects the development route and domestic and foreign policies that Bulgaria has chosen in accordance with its domestic conditions, and is keen to see Bulgaria play an active role in maintaining regional peace and stability.

Tang said the Chinese side is ready to make concerted efforts with Bulgaria to promote contacts and exchanges, conduct extensive and mutually beneficial cooperation, and consolidate and develop the friendly cooperative ties in all areas between the two countries.

Such efforts will be made in line with the principles of mutual respect, seeking common ground while leaving aside differences, and non-interference in each other's internal affairs, said Tang.

Passy said the Bulgarian government will as always stick to the one-China principle, and recognizes that there is but one China in the world, Taiwan is part of China and the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government of China.

Tang expressed appreciation and gratitude for Bulgaria's stance on the Taiwan issue.

Noting that Bulgaria-China relations have developed smoothly over the past fifty years and there are no contradictions or differences between the two countries, he expressed hope that the two countries would strengthen contacts and cooperation in the areas of trade and economy.

On the issue of Iraq, Tang said Iraq expressed its willingness to respect the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Kuwait, and welcome UN arms inspection officials to return Iraq in principle at the just-concluded Arab summit.

The Chinese side appreciates this progress and hopes that all parties concerned would make continued efforts for an early settlement of the Iraq issue.

The two foreign ministers also exchanged views on the issues of anti-terrorism and Afghanistan.

Passy arrived in Beijng Sunday for a five-day official visit at Tang's invitation.

(Xinhua News Agency April 2, 2002)

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