Pak, Chinese leaders vow to further bolster ties

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New York, Sep 25 (UNI) Pakistan and China have decided to strengthen their 'all-weather friendship' with trade and people-to-people contacts.

President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao yesterday met in New York on the sidelines of the ongoing UN General Assembly session and discussed a range of issues, focusing on bilateral relations, according to diplomatic sources.

Zardari, shortly after being sworn in as the president of Pakistan earlier this month, vowed to pay his first official visit to China sometime next month. New areas of cooperation between Islamabad and Beijing have been mulled.

The Pakistani leader, whose country has witnessed huge investment from its giant neighbor in recent years, was appreciative of Beijing's efforts in the economic sphere. In order to help ensure peaceful coexistence in the region, the two leaders decided to ensure further cooperation in this respect.

The two leaders were concerned about terrorism in the region.

The Chinese prime minister particularly conveyed his country's condolences to Zardari over the Marriott Hotel bombing in which more than 50 people were killed and scores injured.

Before meeting with Wen, Zardari had an audience with Robert B Zoellick, the World Bank president, and the talks focused on the economic challenges being faced by Pakistan.

Madeleine K Albright, the former US secretary of state, called on the Pakistani leader on behalf of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. Terrorism and several bilateral issues figured in the talks.

UNI XC ARB AS1703

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