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China Committed to Strategic Cooperation with Saudi Arabia
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Visiting President Hu Jintao said yesterday that China is committed to developing strategic cooperation with Saudi Arabia.


Hu made the remarks at a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Sultanbin Abdul-Aziz in Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia.


He said China will work with Saudi Arabia to strengthen exchanges and mutual trust politically, conduct reciprocal cooperation for common development economically, and respect and learn from each other culturally.


Hu said he is convinced that the bilateral relations, under joint efforts from both sides, are bound to grow better.


Saudi Arabia, an important country in the Middle East and the Gulf region, has made positive contributions to safeguarding regional peace and stability, promoting the unity among Arab countries, and boosting the integration of the Gulf region, Hu said.


For his part, the Saudi crown prince said Hu's current visit has pushed forward bilateral cooperation in various fields, and Saudi Arabia hopes to strengthen bilateral cooperation in economy, trade, science and technology.


On the same day, Hu also met with Saudi Consultative Council Chairman Salih bin Abdullah bin Hameed in Riyadh.


China's National People's Congress has kept sound cooperation with the Saudi Consultative Council, Hu said, adding that he hopes they should further strengthen exchanges and cooperation to make greater contribution to the development of bilateral relations.


Hameed said Saudi Arabia hopes to set up firm relations with China and make joint efforts to promote exchanges between different civilizations and to build a harmonious world.


Hu arrived in Dammam, the second largest port city of Saudi Arabia, from Riyadh on Sunday afternoon.


In Dammam, he also paid a visit to the oil company Saudi Aramco.


On Saturday, Hu started his first state visit to Saudi Arabia, the second leg of his five-nation tour that has already taken him to the US and will also take him to Morocco, Nigeria and Kenya.


Saudi Arabia is China's biggest trade partner in West Asia and North Africa with their trade volume last year reaching US$16 billion.


(Xinhua News Agency April 24, 2006)


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