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Russian foreign minister to visit China May 15 - Jianchao

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BEIJING, May 9 (RIA Novosti, Alexei Yefimov) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will make an official visit to China May 15-16, a spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

"The visit by minister Lavrov has two purposes: on the one hand, it is an official visit to China, and on the other, participation in a session of the SCO council of foreign ministers," Liu Jianchao told a briefing.

Speaking about the present state of Russian-Chinese relations, the diplomat said the Year of Russia, underway in China, was contributing to further consolidation of bilateral cooperation.

Jianchao said he hoped the visit would promote strategic partnership and play an important role in defending peace and stability in the region and all over the world.

He said a session of the foreign ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a regional body comprising Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, would be held in Shanghai May 15, adding that it would be devoted to preparation for an SCO summit scheduled for mid-June.

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