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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Chinese PM visit to strengthen strategic ties: Pak official

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, April 4, IRNA
Pakistan-China-Visit
Pakistan said on Monday that an official three-day visit by Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao who arrives here on Tuesday, will strengthen the existing Islamabad-Beijing strategic relationship.

"The visit will further strengthen all-weather and time-tested friendship and strategic partnership between Pakistan and China," Foreign Office Spokesman Jalil Abbas Jilani told the weekly press briefing.

Chinese Prime Minister, who leads a 70-member delegation, would hold meetings with President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.

The Chinese prime minster will be a key note speaker at the Asian Cooperation Dialogue ministerial meeting on April 6.

During his stay, he will address Pakistani-Chinese business forum, the spokesman said. He will address the foundation-laying ceremony of the Pak-China Friendship Center in Islamabad.

Jilani said the two countries will sign a large number of bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) about cooperation in political, diplomatic, defense, trade, education and agricultural fields.

China is Pakistan's neighbor in the northern Himalayan region and one of Islamabad's major supplier of defense equipment.

Pakistan and China on Monday signed contracts for the
construction of four F-22P frigate ships for Pakistan Navy, officials said.

"Both sides signed four contracts for the construction of state-of- the-art F-22P frigates with all related equipment/systems with special element of transfer of technology (ToT)," a Defense Ministry spokesman told IRNA.

According to defense sources, the F-22P frigates will be equipped with organic helicopters specially designed for anti-submarine warfare, surface to surface and surface to air missiles along with numerous associated self-defence systems.

TK/TSH/2323/1412
::IRNA No.053 04/04/2005 17:27 --End



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