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Wen Sends Congratulatory Message to AU Summit
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Premier Wen Jiabao sent a congratulatory message on Friday to the upcoming summit of the African Union (AU) due to be held in Gambia's capital Banjul over the weekend.


"In the past year, the African Union has worked to promote Africa's development and revitalization through unity, safeguard stability and enhance solidarity in Africa," Wen said in the message.


"It has played an important role in handling African affairs and coordinating Africa's position on international issues," the Chinese premier lauded.


He added that the Chinese government highly appreciates the AU's endeavors and "will continue to support the AU in its efforts to promote peace and development in Africa."


"This year marks the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of diplomatic ties between New China and African countries. In the new era, China will carry forward and develop the traditional friendship and strengthen and deepen its mutually beneficial cooperation with Africa in all fields," Wen said.


"China is committed to forging a new type of strategic partnership with Africa featuring political equality and mutual trust, economic win-win cooperation and cultural exchange," he promised.


Regarding the third ministerial conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation due to be hosted by Beijing in November, Wen said: "we look forward to the meeting between the Chinese and African leaders to renew friendship, discuss ways of increasing cooperation and jointly create a better future of common development."


Wen ended his message by wishing the AU summit every success.


The AU summit, slated for July 1-2, will focus on greater regional integration. Other issues high on the agenda include post-conflict construction in Darfur of Sudan, the unrest in Somalia, the African charter on democracy, elections and governance, malaria, HIV/AIDS and the chronic poverty which continues to ravage the African continent.


(Xinhua News Agency July 1, 2006)

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