Premier Wen Jiabao said Monday China is ready to work more closely with Ethiopia to further boost bilateral ties.
Wen told his Ethiopian counterpart, Meles Zenawi, that efforts would focus mainly on agriculture, human resources development, infrastructure building and tourism
"The last decade has ushered in a new stage of all-around development in bilateral relations, especially since the exchange of visits by the leaders of two countries,'' Zenawi told the Chinese Premier who is on the last stop of a four-nation tour which has taken him to the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Giving a positive appraisal on the fast-growing relationship between the two countries, Wen said the Chinese Government attaches great importance to bilateral cooperation.
To this aim, Wen suggested the two sides to maintain high-level exchanges and increase mutual trust.
Moreover, the two nations should enhance consultations and cooperation to safeguard the interests of developing countries and to seek the establishment of international political and economic patterns, he said.
Reaching a wide range of consensus on bilateral relations and other issues, both leaders agreed that the establishment of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum has created a new arena and brought fresh vitality to Sino-African relations.
Zenawi agreed with Wen, saying Ethiopia is confident with and ardently hoping for further expansion of bilateral ties and the implementation of follow-up programs for the China-Africa forum.
Wen said the founding of the African Union and the implementation of the New Economic Plan for Africa's Development (NEPAD) marks a new era in the political and economic integration of African countries.
Under the framework of the African Union and NEPAD, building a new infrastructure for African countries has become a hot topic, said Zenawi, hoping that the China-Africa Cooperation Forum could play a positive role in this effort.
Wen also expressed gratitude towards the Ethiopian Government's stance towards the one-China policy as well as the support towards China in dealing with international affairs such as the human rights issue.
After their talks, the two prime ministers appeared together during the signing ceremony of China-Ethiopia agreement on economic and technological cooperation and two other two bilateral cooperation documents.
(China Daily December 16, 2003)