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Wen Starts Official Visit to Ghana
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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao arrived in Accra Sunday afternoon on a two-day official visit to Ghana at the invitation of Ghanaian President John Agyekum Kufuor.


Ghana is the second leg of Wen's seven-African nation tour, which has already taken him to Egypt and will also take him to the Republic of Congo, Angola, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.


In a written statement delivered upon arrival at the airport, Wen said China and Ghana share profound traditional friendship.


"Over the past half century or so, the relationship between China and Ghana has withstood the test of time and changes in the international environment and registered strong growth," said Wen.


"The China-Ghana cooperation in the political, economic, trade, cultural, educational and health fields has made steady progress," said the statement.


He said the Chinese government places high value on enhancing friendship and cooperation with Ghana and will work with the Ghanaian side to build on past achievements and make new progress in China-Ghana friendship and cooperation.


Wen expressed the hope that his visit will strengthen traditional Sino-Ghana relationship, enhance political mutual trust and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries and lift the bilateral relations to a new high.


The Chinese premier is expected to exchange views with President Kufuor on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of mutual interests.


Wen is scheduled to attend a ceremony on Monday for the completion of a road in Ghana built with technical assistance and interest-free loan provided by the Chinese government.


This is Premier Wen's second visit to Africa since he went to Ethiopia in 2003 to attend the second ministerial meeting of China-Africa Cooperation Forum.


"Wen's visit will be China's another important act in its diplomacy toward Africa, following the publication of African policy documents early this year and a successful visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao to three African nations in April," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Jianchao ahead of Wen's trip.


(Xinhua News Agency June 19, 2006)

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