(KHALIFA AL YOUSSEF)
Chinese President Hu Jintao welcomed His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Monday and expressed his hope the visit to China would boost relations of friendship and co-operation between the countries.
The Chinese president described Sheikh Mohammed as “an old friend of the Chinese leadership and people”, adding he had played a major role in the boosting bilateral ties between the countries.
Sheikh Mohammed said it was a great honour for him to be in Beijing to meet the president and to learn first-hand about the great Chinese people, adding the UAE leadership and people have great respect for the country’s culture and people.
The UAE Vice-President lauded the volume of trade exchange between his country and China and the outstanding economic ties between the friendly nations.
He also presented an official invitation to the Chinese president to visit the UAE, explaining that President Hu Jintao’s visit to the UAE last January was not official. “I’m hereby presenting to your Excellency this official invitation,” he added.
Present at the meeting were Dubai Deputy Ruler Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Foreign Affairs Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Dubai Airports Authority and President of the Emirates Group Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Minister for Cabinet Affairs Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of State Reem Ibrahim Al Hashimi, a number of Dubai officials and the UAE Ambassador to China Mohammed Rashid Al Bout. (Wam)
Sheikh Mohammed ‘old friend of China’