Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao exchanged on Wednesday congratulatory messages with his Algerian counterpart Ali Benflis to mark the 40th anniversary of China sending its first medical team to assist Algeria.
Wen said in his message that the arrival of the first Chinese medical team in Algeria 40 years ago ushered in a new era of cooperation between China and other developing countries.
Over the past four decades, Chinese doctors working with their Algerian colleagues have worked hard to cure the sickness, heal the wounded and rescue the dying in Algeria, making outstanding contributions to promoting friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
"We avail ourselves of this opportunity to express appreciation to members of the Chinese medical teams, and to express gratitude to the Algerian government and people for their support extended to the Chinese doctors," said Wen in the message.
China will make continued contribution to the development of public health service in Algeria as it has always done, Wen said.
In his message, Algerian Prime Minister Ali Benflis said that just a few months after gaining independence on April 16, 1963, Algeria received the first Chinese medical team to assist the country, which was the first of its kinds ever sent by China to the African continent.
The excellent work of the Chinese doctors over the years has demonstrated the spirit of unity and mutual help, as well as the solid foundation of relations of friendly cooperation between the countries.
The Algerian side will strive to promote relations of friendly cooperation between the two countries to a higher level, he said.
(Xinhua News Agency April 16, 2003)