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47 African Countries Expected to Attend China-Africa Forum

Ai Ping, Chinese ambassador to Ethiopia, disclosed Thursday that over 47 African countries are expected to take part in the forthcoming Forum on China-Africa Cooperation scheduled to be held in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, this December.  

Those countries which have direct diplomatic relationships with China were invited to attend the conference, said the Chinese ambassador in a joint press conference here with the Ethiopian special envoy for the forum Hailekiross Gessesse.


Although Eritrea has withdrawn its ambassador from the African Union, the country is invited to participate in the conference, he said.


Hailekiross said on his part that Eritrea is invited to attend, as the conference is a Sino-African cooperation.


Agreed between China and African countries, the 2nd ministerial conference of the forum will be held from December 15 to 16, and China and Ethiopia will serve as the chair and co-chair of the conference.


Foreign ministers and ministers in charge of the international economic cooperation from China and African countries will attend the conference.


Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and other African heads of state or government are expected to attend the opening ceremony.


The main agenda of the conference is to review the implementation of the two documents adopted by the first ministerial conference, namely the Beijing Declaration of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and the Program for China-Africa Cooperation in Economic and Social Development.


The conference is also to explore new initiatives and measures on the way toward Sino-African cooperation in such areas as human resources development, agriculture, infrastructure development, investment and trade.


The conference is expected to adopt a Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, Addis Ababa Action Plan (2004-2006), which will identify action programs for the political, economic, trade and social development fields.


(Xinhua News Agency November 28, 2003)

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