Visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao conferred awards on five Egyptians Saturday evening to acknowledge their contributions to the development of Sino-Egyptian ties.
The five Egyptians are Chairman of the Egypt-China Friendship Association and former Egyptian Deputy Prime Minister Yussef Amin Wali, Chairman of the Egyptian Council for Human Rights and former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros Ghali, former Arab League (AL) Secretary-General Ahmed Abdel Meguid, former Egyptian Education Minister Kamel Baha'a El-Din and Doctor Kamal Gaugary who was the first Egyptian to introduce Chinese acupuncture to Egypt about 30 years ago.
Premier Wen expressed his gratitude to those Egyptians dedicated to the development of the friendly relations between China and Egypt.
"It is their hard working and great contributions that make the tree of the Sino-Egyptian friendship root deeply and grow vigorously," Wen said.
Wali, who has served as chairman of the Egypt-China Friendship Association for 36 years, told Xinhua News Agency that it was a great honor for him to receive the award from Premier Wen and the award was the best appraisal of his work.
"I will continue to do my utmost to work for friendship between the Egyptian and Chinese peoples," Wali said.
Sino-Egyptian friendship over the last 50 years has laid a solid foundation for the development of strategic and cooperative relations between the two countries, he said.
Meguid was the AL chief from 1991 to 2001, and it was him who helped set up the AL office in Beijing.
"I was very glad to receive such a great honor," Meguid said, adding that he, as former AL chief, appreciated China's unswerving support for the Arabs' just cause.
"The establishment of the AL office in Beijing is a symbol of relations between China and Arab countries," he said.
Wen arrived in Cairo Saturday afternoon on a two-day official visit to Egypt at the invitation of Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazef.
Egypt is the first leg of Wen's seven-nation visit to Africa, which will also take him to Ghana, the Republic of Congo, Angola, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.
(Xinhua News Agency June 18, 2006)