|Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) meets with Crete Governor Stavros Arnaoutakis in Heraklion, Crete, Greece, June 21, 2014. (Xinhua/Wang Ye)
HERAKLION, Greece, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met with Governor Stavros Arnaoutakis of the Greek region of Crete here on Saturday, vowing to facilitate closer cooperation between China's local regions and Crete in such areas as trade and agriculture.
Li expressed gratitude to the Greek government and the Cretan people for receiving Chinese nationals when they were evacuated from war-torn Libya in 2011.
"The Greek government as well as the Cretan provincial government responded promptly to our request for help, and Mr. Governor went to the port yourself to receive the first group of Chinese evacuees," Li said.
"The Chinese people will never forget such timely help offered by the Greek people," he added.
The Chinese government supports China's local regions in expanding exchanges in such fields as trade, agriculture and culture with Crete, said the Chinese premier.
He urged both sides to explore new channels and measures for cooperation to achieve common development on the basis of mutual benefit.
Arnaoutakis, for his part, extended warm welcome to Li, adding Li's visit has injected fresh impetus into Greece-China cooperation.
Hailing Crete's sound exchanges and trade cooperation with China's local regions, he said the southern Aegean Sea island of Crete hopes to further cement cooperation with China in such fields as trade, science and technology, culture, education and tourism, and promote the Greece-China friendship to higher levels.
Li will wrap up his three-day official visit to Greece later on Saturday.