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    PUTIN ACCEPTS CREDENTIALS FROM 7 AMBASSADORS

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    MOSCOW, January 22. (RIA Novosti correspondent) -- President Vladimir Putin accepted the credentials of ambassadors from seven countries on Thursday.

    During a formal ceremony in the Grand Kremlin Palace, the ambassadors of China, Kazakhstan, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Yemen, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro presented their credentials to Mr. Putin.

    The credential presentation ceremony is usually held several times a year. This year it was the first such ceremony.

    While accepting the Chinese ambassador's credentials, President Putin expressed confidence that within the next few years the Russian-Chinese dialog will rise to a new level.

    "Never before have our relations been characterized by such a high level of mutual confidence and mutual understanding," said the Russian president.

    Mr. Putin especially emphasized "the clearly expressed will of the leaders and peoples of both countries for cooperation."

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