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China-Africa FM political consultations mechanism launched
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The mechanism of political consultations between Chinese and African foreign ministers was launched in UN on Wednesday.


The inauguration was chaired by Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the foreign minister of Egypt, which will host the upcoming Fourth Ministerial Conference of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in 2009.


In less than a year since the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, Yang said, follow-up actions have been taken in all fields, and new progress has been made in China-Africa cooperation.


Foreign ministers and representatives from 48 African countries attended Wednesday's event, which was held on the sidelines of the 62nd session of the United Nations General Assembly.


China and Africa are bound by even closer political ties, amid deepened practical cooperation, and stronger mutual support, Yang said.


"China actively supports Africa in taking initiatives to maintain peace and security in the region," Yang said. "It has made unremitting efforts for a comprehensive and proper solution to the Darfur issue. We have continued to take an active part in UN peacekeeping operations in Africa and provided financial support for peacekeeping missions of the African Union." he said.


He thanked the African countries for consistently adhering to the one-China principle and supporting China's reunification.


"China and Africa are good friends, close partners and dear brothers," Yang said. "To safeguard and grow China-Africa relations is our shared historical mission."


He said China stands ready to continue to work with Africa to deepen traditional friendship and strengthen political mutual trust, to expand practical cooperation and share the fruits of development, to increase people-to-people and cultural exchanges and build strong popular support for enhancing China-Africa friendship, to strengthen solidarity and cooperation and maintain close consultations, and to enhance institutional building and develop innovative ways of cooperation.


Gheit, for his part, described the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation a unique form of South-South cooperation, where China and its African partners enjoy equal rights and responsibilities, champion fairness, justice and peace, and are committed to democratizing international relations and safeguarding people's rights to existence and development.


Cooperation between China and African countries not only benefits the people of China and Africa, Gheit said, it also facilitates global efforts to eradicate poverty and diseases and promote development.


Henri Eyebe Ayissi, foreign minister of Cameroon, Zachary D. Muburi-Muita, Kenya's permanent representative to the UN, Aichatou Mindaoudou, foreign minister of Niger, Abdul-Rahman Mohammed Shalgam, foreign minister of Libya, and Felix Mutati, acting foreign minister of Zambia, spoke on behalf of five African sub-regions. They highly evaluate China's efforts in implementing its commitments made at the Beijing Summit and its constructive role in helping address hot button issues in Africa.


China and Africa both have their advantages and enjoy great potentials for cooperation, they said, adding that the new type of cooperation between the two sides based on equality, mutual benefit and mutual respect is conducive to developing countries' effort to meet the challenges posed by globalization.


They reiterated their adherence to the one-China policy and their support for China's reunification.


A joint communique was issued at the end of the consultations, saying the two sides would further promote the new type of strategic partnership and strengthen cooperation in such fields as infrastructure, agriculture, health, education, information technology, and tourism.


Wednesday's consultations marked the formal launch of the regular political dialogue mechanism of foreign ministers as agreed at the Beijing summit.


(Xinhua News Agency September 27, 2007)

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