Chinese, Icelandic leaders hail 40 years of ties

Updated: 2011-12-08 16:11


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BEIJING - Chinese President Hu Jintao and his Icelandic counterpart Olafur Ragnar Grimsson exchanged congratulatory messages Thursday to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Hu said in his message that China-Iceland relations have developed steadily on the basis of mutual respect and mutual benefit since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1971.

In recent years, in particular, China and Iceland have kept frequent exchanges at various levels and have made positive achievements in fields such as economy and trade, fishery, culture, education, tourism and geothermic development, said the Chinese leader.

The two countries have also maintained good communications and coordination on international and regional affairs, Hu said.

The Chinese president noted that China highly values the development of its ties with Iceland and China is willing to work together with Iceland, with the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties as a new starting point, to enhance bilateral high-level exchanges as well as dialogues at various levels, enhance mutual understanding and trust, deepen pragmatic cooperation in various fields, conduct more frequent cultural and social exchanges, and uplift bilateral friendly cooperation to a new height.

Grimsson said in his message that bilateral cooperation between Iceland and China has undergone a sustainable and sound development over the past four decades.

The two countries treat each other as equals and cooperate friendly, which has become a model in state-to-state relations, Grimsson said, adding Iceland expects further development of its cooperation with China.

Also on Thursday, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi exchanged congratulatory messages with Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs Ossur Skarphedinsson.