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Chinese President Starts Visit to Kazakhstan
Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived in Astana Monday for a two-day state visit to Kazakhstan.

During his stay, Hu will hold talks with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev on bilateral relations and important international issues. Both sides will sign several documents on strengthening bilateral ties.

Hu was greeted at the Astana international airport by Kazakh State Secretary and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kasymzhomart Tokayev and Deputy Prime Minister Karim Masimov.

In a written speech distributed to reporters at the airport, Hu said China and Kazakhstan have enjoyed a long-time friendship.

"As today's international situation is undergoing profound change, to further strengthen friendship and cooperation is in the fundamental interests of both countries and conducive to the maintenance and promotion of regional and world peace, stability and development," Hu said.

He expressed his belief that through joint efforts, good-neighborly relations and cooperation of mutual benefits between the two countries will certainly bear more fruits.

The Chinese president arrived in Kazakhstan from Lausanne, Switzerland, after attending an informal South-North leaders dialogue meeting between the heads of state or government of 11 developing countries and the leaders of the Group of Eight held in the Frenchspa town of Evian on Sunday.

(Xinhua News Agency June 3, 2003)

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