Mursi visit to China builds “strategic” ties
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping said the visit Egypt’s leader to Beijing “will increase mutual understanding and trust” between the two countries, local media reported on Wednesday.
Xi’s remarks came during a meeting with Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi, who arrived in China on Tuesday for a three-day state visit.
Mursi held talks with his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, on Tuesday.
Mursi’s visit to China, a rising global power, comes ahead of a scheduled visit to the United States, the key ally of former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak.
The Egyptian leader is said to have put Chinese investments high on the agenda of the talks, as a means to inject much needed cash into Egypt’s ailing economy, as well as lessen Cairo’s dependence on US aid.
Mursi reportedly suggested increasing Egypt-China flights from two per week to ten, and requested that China build a high speed train route between Cairo and Alexandria.
According to Xinhua, Mursi called Egypt-China ties “strategic” in the meeting and commended the traditional friendship.
He described his talks with Hu as being “of significance for consolidating Egyptian-Chinese strategic relations.”
“I, along with the delegation of ministers, officials and investors, convey to you and all Chinese leaders and your people all respect and appreciation for your civilization and your pioneer experience in the modern age,” Mursi said.
Chinese news agency Xinhua reported Xi as affirming the visit “would inject new impetus into bilateral relations and will open a new chapter in the friendship between Egypt and China.”
Xi said that the development of Sino-Egyptian relations is due to both being developing countries that “share common goals of maintaining state sovereignty and social stability.”
He cited other common interests as “the promotion of peace and stability in the region and all over the world.”
In an interview last Monday with Reuters news agency, Mursi stated he will seek solutions to the Syrian issue with Chinese leaders. China, along with Iran and Russia, is one of the prominent supporters of Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria.
Following his visit to China, President Mursi will make a quick visit to the Iranian capital, Tehran, on Thursday where he will formally hand over chairmanship of the Non-Aligned Movement to Iran’s President Ahmadinejad.
(Xinhua, UPI, Al-Akhbar)
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