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Chinese, Palestinian Leaders Hold Talks

Chinese President Hu Jintao and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas agreed during their talks on Wednesday afternoon to jointly develop all-round friendly cooperation between the two countries, and actively support the Middle East peace process.

During their talks in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Wednesday afternoon, Hu and Abbas exchanged views on bilateral relations and issues concerning the Middle East.

Hu said the Chinese people and government would always firmly support the just cause of the Palestinian people. It is the existing policy of the Chinese government to develop a long-term, friendly and cooperative relationship with Palestine, Hu said.

The Chinese president set forth several suggestions for further expansion of bilateral links. On the political front, Hu said China and Palestine should promote friendly contact on all levels and through visits by high-ranking officials and exchanges between political parties.

On the economic front, the two countries should jointly explore new ways and means of expanding mutually beneficial cooperation, Hu said. He added that the two sides should further extend the area and scale of their economic cooperation so as to bring about substantial benefits to the people of both countries.

Hu also said the two countries should step up exchanges and cooperation in the fields of culture, education and public health. The two countries should also increase human resource exchanges to enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples.

Abbas said the Palestine-China friendship has withstood the test of time despite the ever-changing international situation. He thanked the Chinese people and government for providing political support and economic assistance to the Palestinian people in their struggle for national liberation and independence.

Abbas said that Palestine firmly adheres to a one-China policy and joins hands with China to advance the growth of bilateral relations. He expressed the wish that the two countries should intensify high-level communications, enhance political dialogue and expand cooperation in various fields.

Abbas also hopes that the signing of cooperative documents between the two countries will create more favorable conditions in trade and economic cooperation.

Hu noted that China is one of the first countries that lent support to the Palestine National Liberation Movement and recognized the state of Palestine.

Hu thanked Palestine for its firm and consistent support of China's reunification plans and its efforts to promote friendly relations between China and Arab countries.

On the Middle East issue, Hu said the Palestine-Israel issue must be resolved through political consultation on the basis of the "land for peace" principle and relevant UN resolutions. The parties concerned should revisit the "road map" plan as soon as possible and establish an independent state of Palestine at the earliest possible date.

Although there are still many challenges ahead in the quest for peace, Abbas said Palestine will firmly go along the path of peace talks and reconciliation with Israel. He is confident that an independent state of Palestine will be established, and that a peaceful coexistence with Israel will be achieved, thereby realizing lasting peace in the Middle East.

After the talks, Hu and Abbas attended the signing ceremony of five documents on cooperation between the two countries, including the agreement on bilateral economic and technological cooperation.

(Xinhua News Agency May 19, 2005)

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