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Premier Wen arrives in Astana on official visit
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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao arrived in Astana Wednesday evening, starting a three-day official visit to Kazakhstan at the invitation of Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov.

Wen is scheduled to attend the 7th prime ministers' meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (R, front) is greeted by Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov upon his arrival at the airport in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan, Oct. 29, 2008.

In a written statement upon his arrival at the airport, Wen spoke highly of the sound development of Sino-Kazakh relations since the two countries forged diplomatic ties 16 years ago.

He said his current visit is aimed at promoting mutual understanding and trust between the two peoples, enhancing substantial bilateral cooperation in various fields, and pushing forward the development of the bilateral strategic partnership which was set up in 2005.

During the visit, Wen will have an in-depth exchange of views with Kazakh leaders on bilateral relations and other issues of common concern. He will also discuss the promotion of cooperation within the SCO with his counterparts from other SCO member states.

The Chinese premier also expressed the belief that his visit would be a success given the efforts by both sides.

Kazakhstan is the second leg of Wen's two-nation tour which has already taken him to Russia where he held talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at the 13th regular meeting between Chinese and Russian prime ministers, and met with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and parliament leaders.

Wen and Putin also attended the third Sino-Russian economic and trade forum in Moscow.

The two sides issued a joint communique Tuesday, and signed a series of cooperation agreements in such fields as economy, trade, science and technology, energy and culture.

(Xinhua News Agency October 30, 2008)

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