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President Hu Starts Talks with Sudanese President
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Chinese President Hu Jintao (R, front) is accorded a red-carpet welcome by his Sudanese counterpart Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Bashir (L, front) in Khartoum, capital of Sudan, Feb. 2, 2007.

Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao began talks with his Sudanese counterpart Omar Hassan AhmedAl-Bashir on closer cooperation between the countries soon after his arrival in Khartoum on Friday.

During their talks, the two leaders are expected to discuss the promotion of friendship and cooperation between the two countries. They will also exchange views on regional issues and other issues of common concerns, according to a Chinese foreign ministry official.

In the afternoon, President Hu will meet other Sudanese officials.

The Chinese president flew into Khartoum from the Liberian capital of Monrovia after a one-day visit.

Trade between China and Sudan has rapidly increased in recent years.

In the first 11 months of 2006, bilateral trade amounted to 2.9billion US dollars.

Cooperation between the two countries has expanded into construction, agriculture, medical and health work and education.

President Hu is on the third leg of an eight-nation tour to Africa that has taken him to Cameroon and Liberia and will also take him to Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique and Seychelles.

Hu's African trip comes only three months after the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, at which Chinese and African leaders agreed to establish and develop a new type of strategic partnership, featuring political equality and mutual trust, economic win-win cooperation and cultural exchange.

Earlier, the Chinese president described his African trip as "a journey of friendship and cooperation."

He said that his current visit to the eight African countries aims to consolidate the traditional friendship between China and Africa, implement the agreements reached at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation last November, increase cooperation and promote development.

(Xinhua News Agency February 3, 2007)

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