|Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Beijing, capital of China, July 19, 2011. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)
BEIJING, July 19 (Xinhua) -- President Hu Jintao on Tuesday said China is ready to enhance political and economic cooperation with Iraq during the first China visit of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki.
During a meeting with Maliki, Hu hailed the traditional friendship between the two peoples, saying bilateral ties have entered a new stage since the founding of the new Iraqi government.
"China will work with the Iraqi side to steadily promote exchange and cooperation in politics, economic and humanitarian fields, and enhance communication and coordination on international and regional affairs," said Hu at the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing.
He said the two sides should bolster cooperation in two-way trade, oil and gas, and infrastructure construction.
"China will, as always, support the new Iraqi government's efforts in safeguarding independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and in promoting national reconstruction and long-term peace and stability," he said.
Maliki said his government will learn from China's development experience, take China as an important partner, and further cooperation in politics, economy, trade, energy, infrastructure, science and technology and culture.
He welcomed Chinese investors and pledged to stick to the one-China policy.
In addition to his stay in Beijing, Maliki is also scheduled to visit Shanghai later this week.