Hu, Rajapakse pledge to boost ties

Hu Jintao and Mahinda Rajapakse discussed ways to boost bilateral cooperation.

St. Petersburg: Chinese President Hu Jintao and his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapakse Friday discussed ways to boost bilateral cooperation during their meeting on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Xinhua reported.

Hu said China and Sri Lanka are trustworthy friends who have gone through difficult times together. The two countries have strengthened ties with regular exchanges in different areas, he said.

He called for increasing intergovernmental exchanges, trade and economic cooperation. He also favoured joint projects.

China encourages Chinese enterprises to invest and set up businesses in Sri Lanka, Hu said, adding it welcomes more Sri Lankan students to study in China.

Rajapakse thanked China for its long-term support to Sri Lanka in the economic and social sectors. He said ties between the two nations are based on mutual respect, trust and friendship.

He said Sri Lanka stands ready to work with China to expand cooperation.

The Chinese president arrived in St. Petersburg Friday from Moscow to deliver a keynote speech in the opening ceremony of the forum.


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