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Beijing Summit Urges Developed Nations to Provide More Assistance to Africa
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Leaders of China and 48 African countries Sunday urged developed countries to increase assistance to Africa as a historic summit on China-Africa cooperation wrapped up in Beijing.


"We urge the developed countries to increase official development assistance and honor their commitments to opening market and debt relief," the leaders said in a declaration adopted following the two-day gathering in the Chinese capital.


They called on the related international organizations to provide more financial and technical assistance to enhance Africa's capacity in poverty and disaster reduction and prevention and control of desertification, and help Africa realize the UN Millennium Development Goals, according to the declaration.


"Greater attention should be paid to the issue of development facing the least developed countries, the heavily indebted poor countries and the small island countries in Africa," the declaration said.


The summit, which is believed to the largest diplomatic event between China and Africa in history, highlighted the strategic partnership between China and Africa.


At the opening ceremony Saturday, Chinese President Hu Jintao announced a package of aid and assistance measures to Africa including assistance to Africa by 2009, US$3 billion of preferential loans in next three years and the exemption of more debt owed by poor African countries.


Under the framework of the forum, China has already canceled debt of 10.5 billion yuan (US$1.3 billion) incurred by 31 Heavily Indebted Poor Countries and least developed countries in Africa, and has given zero-tariff treatment to 190 categories of import commodities from 29 African countries.


The leaders also called on the international community to encourage and support Africa's efforts to pursue peace and development and provide greater assistance to African countries in peaceful resolution of conflicts and post-war reconstruction, according to the declaration.


Along with the declaration, the summit also adopted an action plan on China-Africa cooperation (2007-2009).


(Xinhua News Agency November 5, 2006)



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