Iran and China pledged on Sunday to make further efforts to develop relations of friendship and cooperation, noting that good ties between the two countries are beneficial to the regional and world peace.
Iran's President Mohammad Khatami and visiting member of China's State Council Wu Yi made the remarks during their afternoon meeting on bilateral ties, especially in the trade and economic fields.
While extending his warm welcome to Wu Yi and her entourage, Khatami said that Iran has paid vital importance to the development of relations with China, which has made remarkable achievements in the economic and social fields in recent years.
As countries with ancient civilizations, both China and Iran have made great contributions to the mankind, he said, expressing hope that the two countries should make new efforts to develop their traditional friendship and cooperation to serve the regional and world peace.
There are great potentials in developing cooperation between China and Iran, especially in the trade and economic fields, the president stressed.
For her part, Wu Yi, who arrived Iran on Saturday afternoon for a five-day visit, said that as an important nation in West Asia and the Gulf region, Iran has played an important role in regional and world affairs.
The ties between China and Iran have been developed in various fields, she said, adding China is ready to further develop economic cooperation with Iran so as to deepen their existing good relations of friendship and cooperation.
Earlier in the day, Wu and Iranian Vice-president and Head of the Management and Planning Organization (MPO) Mohammad Sattarifar presided over the 11th China-Iran joint economic commission meeting.
During the meeting, the two sides discussed and exchanged views in detail on projects and matters concerning economic and trade cooperation and pledged to explore ways and potentials to promote their economic ties.
The bilateral trade between China and Iran has increased fast in recent years, with trade volume reaching some US$3.3 billion last year, several times higher than that some 10 years ago.
(Xinhua News Agency March 18, 2002)