Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao arrived in Cairo Saturday afternoon for a two-day official visit to Egypt at the invitation of Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazef.
Upon his arrival at Cairo International Airport, Wen said that he was delighted to visit Egypt, and he would like to take this opportunity to greet the Egyptian people on behalf of the Chinese government and people.
As for the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries, he said, "This year is the golden jubilee of Sino-Egyptian diplomatic ties, and friendly and cooperative relations between China and Egypt have stood the test of time and changing international situation over half a century and such relations have been steadily developing."
He praised strategic and cooperative ties between the two countries, saying that bilateral cooperation has been fruitful.
He said that Sino-Egyptian relations enjoy a huge potential to further develop, and the promotion of bilateral strategic and cooperative ties will serve the interests of the two countries and peoples and will also contribute to peace and development in the region and the world as a whole.
"I am looking forward to meeting with President Hosni Mubarak, Prime Minister Ahmed Nazef and other Egyptian leaders to exchange views with them on the future of bilateral relations and issues of mutual interest in a bid to increase common understanding and push Sino-Egyptian ties forward steadily," Wen said.
"I wish Egypt and the Egyptian people prosperity, development and happiness." he said.
During the trip, Wen will also meet separately with Speaker of the People's Assembly Ahmed Fathi Sorour and Muhammad Yousuf el-Sharif, speaker of the Shura Council.
Wen will hold talks with Nazef on means to deepen strategic and cooperative relations between the two countries. The two countries will sign a number of agreements covering political, economic, cultural and educational aspects.
The two prime ministers are expected to attend a ceremony to inaugurate several cooperative projects in Egypt.
They will also deliver speeches prior to a gala performance in front of the Great Pyramids, which was staged to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-Egyptian diplomatic ties.
Before winding up his visit to Egypt, Wen will hold a press conference to expound China's policies and measures to be taken toward Africa.
Wen's entourage, including Commerce Minister Bo Xilai and Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, arrived in Cairo on the same plane.
Egypt is the first leg of Wen's seven-nation visit to Africa, which will also take him to Ghana, the Republic of Congo, Angola, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.
On May 30 of 1956, China and Egypt officially declared the establishment of diplomatic relations, which made Egypt the first Arab and African country to forge diplomatic ties with China.
In April 1999, then Chinese President Jiang Zemin and Mubarak signed a joint communique declaring the establishment of strategic and cooperative relations between China and Egypt.
In January 2004, Chinese President Hu Jintao visited Egypt, during which Hu and Mubarak reached wide consensus on deepening such ties in an all-round way.
Trade volumes between the two countries reached US$2.1 billion in 2005, an increase of 36 percent over the previous year.
China has 186 projects in Egypt with a total investment of US$220 million.
(Xinhua News Agency June 18, 2006)