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Kyrgyzstan, China sign declaration on boosting cooperation

BISHKEK, August 14 (RIA Novosti) - The presidents of China and Kyrgyzstan pledged to enhance bilateral economic ties and increase border cooperation in a joint declaration signed in the Kyrgyz capital Tuesday.

Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived earlier in the day on an official visit to Bishkek, where he met with the Central Asian country's leader, Kurmanbek Bakiyev. The visiting president is also expected to meet with Prime Minister Almaz Atambayev and Parliamentary Speaker Marat Sultanov during two days of bilateral meetings.

The talks will be followed by a summit of the Shaghai Cooperation Organization hosted by the ex-Soviet state. The regional organization, which focuses on security, unites Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

So far during Hu Jintao's visit, intergovernmental agreements have been signed on cooperation in animal quarantine, and measures against drugs trafficking. The countries also signed a memorandum on cooperation in environmental protection, and agreed to set up a Confucius Institute in Kyrgyzstan.

At his meeting with Bakiyev, the Chinese leader said: "We will continue to support each other in important spheres of mutual interest, such as trade, economy, transport, communications and security." Hu also wished "stability and consecutive economic development" to China's northeastern neighbor.

In turn, Bakiyev said: "China holds a priority position in Kyrgyz foreign policy, and we intend to boost our cooperation."

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