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President Hu Meets Iraqi Governing Council President

China is ready to take an active part in Iraq's reconstruction and will join the international community in helping Iraqi people take the path to peace, stability and development at as early a date as possible, said Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing Thursday afternoon.


Hu made the remarks in a meeting with Bahr Ul-Uloum, president of the Iraqi Governing Council (IGC), who arrived here earlier Thursday afternoon as a guest of the Chinese side.


This is the first China tour for the IGC president.


Hu said Sino-Iraqi friendship has a long history and the two countries established diplomatic ties as early as in 1958.


The Chinese government and people treasure bilateral friendship and will, on the basis of mutual respect, equality and reciprocity, consolidate and develop bilateral friendship and cooperation, said Hu.


Noting that Iraq's political and economic reconstruction has gained worldwide attention, Hu said China has always respected Iraq's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and Iraqi people's choice and rights and interests, and supported the United Nations' due role in the reconstruction.


He said the Chinese side is deeply sympathetic with Iraq's current difficulties, and has provided Iraq with humanitarian aid within its capacity.


Ul-Uloum said he hopes his visit will further promote bilateral friendship and cooperation and expressed his appreciation for China's understanding and support on the Iraqi issue.


He said China's support for the United Nations' role in Iraq's reconstruction has witnessed positive echoes from the Iraqi people.


Iraq is faced with an arduous reconstruction task and China's successful experience in economic development will be helpful in the reconstruction, said Uloum.


He listed cooperative spheres for the two countries as infrastructure, medical services and human resources, saying Iraq is expecting China's active participation in Iraq's reconstruction.


(Xinhua News Agency March 26, 2004)

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