Visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazef hailed the Sino-Egyptian ties in speeches to an audience of some 1,000 who attended a gala performance before the Great Pyramids in west Cairo on Saturday night.
Wen said that China and Egypt, both known for their ancient civilizations and long history, have begun contacts and exchanges in the 2nd century BC.
The Sino-Egyptian ties opened a new chapter 50 years ago when the two countries came together in the historical trend of national liberation and development, and Egypt was the first Arab and African nation to establish diplomatic ties with New China founded in October 1949, said Wen.
China and Egypt officially declared the establishment of diplomatic relations on May 30 of 1956. The gala performance, called "Hand in Hand," was staged to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the China-Egypt diplomatic ties.
Wen said that the Sino-Egyptian strategic cooperation has born plentiful fruits as political relations between the two nations have became increasingly close and bilateral cooperation in economic, cultural and educational aspects has been steadily enhanced.
"Never have the Sino-Egyptian ties and exchanges been so close like today's," Wen said.
"I had fruitful talks with Prime Minister Nazef this afternoon and reached broad consensus," he said, adding that both nations have agreed to strive for a faster and better development of the Sino-Egyptian ties.
For this end, China and Egypt have signed "Implementary Outlines for Deepening the Strategic Cooperative Relations between China and Egypt," which is set to bring far-reaching influence on the Sino-Egyptian friendly relations, Wen said.
China and Egypt have agreed to continue joint efforts to safeguard world peace and security, enhance all-level bilateral friendly exchanges, deepen bilateral economic cooperation and facilitate dialogue among civilizations, said Wen.
For his part, Nazef said that the gala performance was another evidence for continuing civilization and cultural exchanges between the two nations with long history and ancient civilizations.
Such exchanges have also sent out a signal to the world that different civilizations and cultures worldwide should set up bridges for the purpose of mutual understanding, he said.
Nazef said that both Egypt and China valued highly of the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic ties, which could be seen as not only an opportunity to hold celebration activities, but also an opportunity to push forward with bilateral cooperation in all aspects.
Wen's visit and an upcoming visit by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to China have also shown that both China and Egypt attached great importance to the 50th anniversary, which is set to push efforts made by the two governments and various sectors to improve bilateral friendly ties to a new height, Nazef said.
After their speeches, performers from both countries entertained their audience with Chinese and Egyptian songs and dances.
The gala performance was jointly sponsored by the Chinese embassy in Egypt, China Central Television Station and Egyptian state TV channel one.
Wen arrived in Cairo on Saturday afternoon on a two-day official visit to Egypt at the invitation of Nazef.
Egypt is the first leg of Wen's seven-nation tour 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)