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India, China pledge to deepen ties

By Ajay Kaul in Phuket, Thailand
July 23, 2009 00:34 IST
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Notwithstanding their differences on the boundary question, India and China on Wednesday vowed to deepen their multi-faceted ties for a "lasting friendship" as Union External Affairs Minister S M Krishna met his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi in Phuket.

During his first interaction with Yang on the sidelines of the Association of South East Asian Nations Foreign Ministers' meet in this resort island, Krishna said the two leaders would be in close touch and "use the phone" as and when required as part of building ties.

"I had useful, cordial and friendly exchange of views with my Chinese counterpart," Krishna told mediapersons after the meeting during which they reviewed the bilateral ties and took stock of multilateral issues like climate change, Doha round of WTO talks and the upcoming G-20 Summit on economic meltdown on which the two countries have similarity of views.

"We reciprocated mutual desire to deepen the multi-faceted cooperation between the two countries," he said.

Yang said he was looking forward to the visit of President Pratibha Patil to China later this year. Expressing his deep sense of appreciation for the invitation from the Chinese government to Patil, Krishna said, "These (high-level exchanges) serve the purpose of trying to understand each other better and in forging lasting friendship and partnership in the region."

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Ajay Kaul in Phuket, Thailand
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