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China, Mali pledge closer ties
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Foreign ministers of China and Mali on Friday pledged to further strengthen the two nations' diplomatic relations.

Mali's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Moctar Ouane is paying an official visit to China from Aug. 20 to 24 as guest of his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi.

"Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 49 years ago, the two countries have been supportive of each other in politics and achieved fruitful outcomes in such areas as trade, culture and eduction," said Yang at talks with Ouane.

China appreciated Mali for its adherence to the one-China policy, and its support on issues related to Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang, said Yang.

Yang hoped the two countries could expand further cooperation and "pour vigor into bilateral traditional relationship".

Ouane said Mali highly values relations with China and will make efforts with China to boost bilateral ties.

China and Mali have maintained frequent high-level visits in recent years.

Chinese President Hu Jintao paid his first visit to this western African nation in February, one leg of "a journey of friendship and cooperation".

Malian President Amadou Toumany Toure attended the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in November 2006, and the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games in August 2008.

Cooperation between the two countries has also expanded in economy, trade, culture, education and health.

Trade between China and Mali hit more than 200 million US dollars in 2008, according to official figures.

From 1968 to 2008, China has sent more than 670 medical workers to Mali and treated about 3 million local patients.

Quane will also visit southern China's Guangzhou province during his visit.

(Xinhua News Agency August 21, 2009)

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