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China Pledges Closer Trade Ties with Yemen
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Chinese President Hu Jintao said on Thursday that China will increase its trade and energy cooperation with Yemen in an effort to raise bilateral relations to new heights.


"China supports and welcomes enterprises increasing their investment in the two countries and is willing to expand cooperation with Yemen in such areas as energy, infrastructure and fishing," said Hu while meeting with visiting Yemeni President, AliAbdullah Saleh.


Saleh arrived in Beijing Wednesday to begin a six-day state visit to China.


In reply to Hu's call for further economic and trade cooperation, Saleh said the Yemeni government was pleased with the ongoing development of bilateral relations and trade ties.


The friendly cooperation between Yemen and China had seen a stable development and trade cooperation has achieved much progress since the two countries forged diplomatic ties 50 years previously, said Saleh. He added that trade volume hit US$3.5 billion in 2005.


Hu urged that the two countries step up exchanges at various levels and further strengthen coordination in international and regional affairs.


Of the situations in the Middle East and Gulf regions, Hu said China had always engaged itself in easing and stabilizing the difficulties in those areas and opposed any move which had the potential to increase tensions.


China insisted that those involved increase dialogue, conduct consultations and solve disputes through peaceful negotiation in line with relevant UN resolutions, said Hu.


"China will work with the Arab nations including Yemen and the international community to further develop peace in the Middle East and Gulf region," Hu added.


"China and Yemen have become reliable 'all-weather' friends," he added.  


Saleh appreciated China's stance on Middle East issues and the important role they played in promoting peace. Yemen and China shared similar views in terms of Iraq's reconstruction and the peace process in the Middle East, he said.


Saleh extended his thanks for China's long-term assistance explaining Yemen would firmly adhere to the one-China policy.


He added that his six-day visit was aimed at cementing Yemen-China's traditional friendship and further development of bilateral cooperation. Saleh hoped the two countries would reinforce their mutually beneficial cooperation in trade, energy, investment and infrastructure.


After their talks, Hu and Saleh attended the signing ceremony of eight cooperative agreements in several fields including trade and telecommunication.


(Xinhua News Agency April 7, 2006)


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