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Chinese premier hails AU's active role in regional affairs (07/01/09)


BEIJING, July 1 (Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) has played an active role in the region's political and economic affairs, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said ahead of the organization's 13th summit to be held on Wednesday in Sirte, Libya.

In a congratulatory message sent to the AU on Tuesday, Wen said he hoped the summit would achieve full success.

Wen hailed the AU's achievements in promoting political cooperation and economic integration in Africa and in maintaining peace and stability in the region.

He said African countries have played an active role in international affairs in recent years.

China acknowledges the difficulties and challenges that African countries are facing amid the global financial crisis, Wen said, adding that China will continue to implement the aid programs to Africa and join hands with African friends to tide over the difficulties.

Wen spoke highly of the progress in implementing the plans mapped out at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in November 2006.

He said he believed that the fourth ministerial meeting of the forum, to be held in Egypt in the last quarter of 2009, will achieve complete success under the joint efforts of both sides.


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