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Pakistani President, PM meet Chinese FM
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Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani met respectively with visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on Saturday and reiterated their resolve to improve bilateral ties to a new level.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf (L) meets visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, April 26, 2008.

They said Pakistan will always stand with China on the Taiwan and Tibet issues and Beijing Olympics will be a great success.

Musharraf, at a meeting with Yang in the city of Rawalpindi close to Islamabad, appreciated China's consistent assistance and help, saying Pakistan would continue to carry out cooperation with China in such fields as trade, energy, communication, education and culture.

The smooth holding of the Beijing Olympic torch relay in Islamabad showcased the deep-rooted friendship between the two neighboring countries, said Musharraf.

Gillani, while meeting with Yang, said Pakistan and China enjoy "all-weather and time-tested" relations and the new Pakistani government will strive to push bilateral relations forward on the basis of mutually-beneficiary cooperation.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani (R) meets visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi (L) in Islamabad, capital of Pakistan, April 26, 2008.

Gillani welcomed Chinese firms to invest in Pakistan, saying to develop relationship with China will be the priority of the Pakistani government.

Yang described China-Pakistan relations as good neighbors, friends, partners and brothers, saying the two countries have seen sound cooperation on politics, trade, mega projects, military, security, culture as well as regional and international issues.

China thanks Pakistan for its firm support on the Taiwan and Tibet issues, and will support Pakistan's efforts to safeguard national stability and development, Yang said.

Yang said the Chinese government attaches great importance to relations with Pakistan and will deepen bilateral strategic cooperation and lift China-Pakistan strategic partnership to a new height.

Yang also expressed appreciation for Pakistan's successful holding of the Beijing Olympic torch relay, which he said is a testimony to sincere friendship between the two countries.

Yang arrived in Islamabad on Friday afternoon for a two-day visit to Pakistan, the first visit by the Chinese foreign minister since the new Pakistani government took office last month.

Yang is also the first senior Chinese official visiting Pakistan after Musharraf paid a state visit to China from April 10 to 15..

Yang held talks with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi after his arrival, and they discussed possibilities to expand cooperation between the two countries.

At a news briefing following the talks, Yang announced that China will provide Pakistan 70 million RMB (around one million U.S. dollars) as technical and economic assistance and 500,000 RMB (around 71,429 U.S. dollars) for equipment for Pakistan foreign ministry.

During the 24-hour visit, Yang also met with Pakistan's National Assembly Speaker Fehmida Mirza, Senate Chairman Muhammad Miam Soomro, Nawaz Sharif, leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain.

(Xinhua News Agency April 27, 2008)

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