Pakistan, China sign friendship treaty, 21 MoUs
IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency
Islamabad, April 6, IRNA
Pakistan's Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao held wide ranging talks to strengthen cooperation between Islamabad and Beijing in economic, defence and diplomatic fields.
Aziz and Wen signed a landmark treaty of friendship, cooperation and good neighbourly relations between Pakistan and China.
On this occasion, Pakistani officials and their Chinese counterparts signed and exchanged 21 agreements and MOUs on cooperation in economic, defence, energy, infrastructure, social sector, health, education, higher education, housing and other areas.
The two countries also agreed on financing arrangement of 350 million dollars for Chashma-II nuclear power project.
Under an agreement, a Chinese company would construct 1,200 low cost housing units at a cost of 85 million dollars.
Later, talking to newsmen the Chinese premier described the signing of the friendship treaty as a major practical and historical development.
He said the treaty and other agreements signed would open a new chapter in Sino-Pakistan friendship. "The friendship treaty would institutionalize the spirit of friendship which the two countries have forged over the past 54 years."
Replying to a question, he said there is huge potential to further deepen the economic cooperation between the two countries. "We have already concluded feasibility study of the FTA and have started negotiations in this regard."
Prime Minister Aziz said Pakistan and China have identical views regarding major world issues.
He said the most significant agreement signed was treaty of friendship and cooperation, which will bolster bilateral cooperation.
"The treaty is unique in the sense that the two countries have no such treaty with any other country. It would serve as a turning point in the already strong relationship between the two countries." Aziz further said the two countries are encouraging the private sectors to invest in each other's country.
He said they have agreed to encourage the flow of goods from Western China through Pakistani ports of Karachi and Gwadar to Middle East and beyond.
Premier Wen Jiabao of the People's Republic of China was accorded a warm welcome when he arrived in Islamabad on Tuesday on a three-day visit.
The road from the airbase to Islamabad was decorated with Pakistani and Chinese flags and huge welcome banners.
The Chinese premier is being accompanied by a seventy-member delegation.
::IRNA No.003 06/04/2005 09:07 --End
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