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China, Tajikistan Agree to Enhance Cooperation
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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Tajikistan Prime Minister Akil Akilov agreed on Friday that the two countries will enhance bilateral cooperation on trade and other areas.

In their meeting on Friday, the first of its kind, the leaders exchanged views and reached wide-range consensus on how to strengthen the good-neighborly and friendly relations between the two countries and on how to deepen cooperation in various fields.

Wen said China and Tajikistan have enjoyed high-level mutual political trust, completely resolved the border issue, given support to each other on major issues related to independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and maintained close cooperation on international and regional for a such as the United Nations and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Akilov said that China is a good neighbor and partner of Tajikistan and that the two sides show mutual respect and high-level trust.

The establishment of diplomatic ties with China is one of the major achievements Tajikistan has made since independence, Akilov said. He added that it is a priority of Tajikistan's foreign policy to maintain and consolidate relations with China.

The two leaders agreed to negotiate and sign as early as possible China-Tajikistan good-neighborliness, friendship and cooperation treaty, which will lay a solid legal foundation for the development of a long-term and stable relationship between the two countries.

In their talks, Wen and Akilov also agreed to take measures to increase bilateral trade, promote cooperation in mine resources and infrastructure development, implement projects the two sides have agreed upon and create favorable conditions for companies to do business.

They also agreed to increase people-to-people contact, promote exchange programs for children and conduct joint operations against drug smugglers and the "three evil forces" including the "East Turkistan" separatists.

Akilov reaffirmed Tajikistan's one China policy and its support to China's cause of national reunification.

After their meeting, the two sides signed documents for cooperation in economy, health, media and combat against drug-related crimes.

(Xinhua News Agency September 16, 2006)

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