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China and Germany Applaud Ties
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The links between China and Germany were "close and good" according to visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and his German counterpart Angela Merkel. On Thursday they applauded bilateral relations between the two countries.

The remarks were made at a joint press conference following a meeting and signing of a number of cooperation agreements by the two leaders. "This visit shows again that the two nations have close and good relations," said Merkel. She visited China in May.

Merkel said she believed relations, which were already strong, could be further developed as in 2007 the two countries would celebrate the 35th anniversary of the establishment of formal diplomatic relationships. Wen, who arrived here earlier on Thursday, made similar comments. 

On the Iranian nuclear issue Wen reaffirmed the situation should be resolved peacefully and urged that negotiations resume as soon as possible. "Sanctions do not lead to this goal," he said. "Therefore we must be careful with such measures." 

On Thursday, the two signed eight documents for further cooperation in economy, science, technology and culture.

Under one agreement signed by Chinese Ambassador to Germany Ma Canrong and German State Secretary Gerd Hoofe for the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, 400 German youngsters will visit China next year.

The two countries also signed a framework agreement for setting up a Confucius Institute in the German city of Hannover.

Wen, who is on a two-day visit to Germany, also held talks with German President Horst Koehler.

(Xinhua News Agency September 15, 2006)

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