Sonia to sign MoU with CPC in Beijing

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New Delhi, Aug 7 (UNI) Seeking to forge closer ties, the Congress and the Communist Party of China (CPC) will sign a Memorandum of Understanding during the four-day stay of Ms Sonia Gandhi in Beijing where she has gone to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.

"The MoU is to provide institutional basis of exchanges between the two parties," AICC General Secretary Veerappa Moily told mediapersons, while underlining that the agreement on the MoU had been reached during Ms Gandhi's visit to China last year.

Mr Moily said a delegation of the International Committee of the Chinese Communist Party visited the AICC last year and this year.

Ms Gandhi and her son and AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi left here early this morning to Beijing. Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma also accompanied them.

Ms Gandhi's daughter Priyanka Vadra and her family has already been in Beijing.

It is important to note that the visit of Ms Gandhi and Mr Rahul Gandhi to the Beijing Olympic Games was in response to an invitation from the top leadership of CPC. The China Association for International Friendly Contact extended invitation to Ms Priyanka vadra and family.

Mr Moily said Ms Gandhi would have a meeting with Mr Xi Jinping, Vice President and Member of the Standing Committee of CPI Polit Bureau.

Ms Gandhi would attend the official banquet of Chinese President Hu Jintao tonight.

She is also expected to meet several world leaders on the margins of the inaugural function of the Olympic Games tomorrow and also at the official banquet tonight, he said.

Asked why Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was not extended invitation to attend the opening ceremony, Mr Moily said the invite to Ms Gandhi is "party-to-party invitation".

Since Ms Gandhi is attending the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games as the guest of the Chinese government, she will be seated in the celebrity enclosure and not in the VVIP enclosure.

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