Icelandic and Chinese leaders hail 40 years of diplomatic relations

The presidents of Iceland and China and the foreign Ministers of both countries exchanged congratulatory messages Thursday, December 8, to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
 
The President of Iceland, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, sent greetings from the Icelandic People to the President of China, Hu Jintao. He welcomed the growing contacts between the countries and said that the two countries treat each other as equals and cooperate friendly, which has become a model in state-to-state relations in spite of the great difference in size. He expressed wishes for further development of Iceland’s cooperation with China in the future.
 
President Hu Jintao 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. He pointed out that 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. 
 
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.
 
The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland, Össur Skarphéðinsson, said in his letter to the Chinese Foreign Minister, Yang Jiechi, that on occasions like this, one should look back to growing relations during the last 40 years. There had been a market increase in all fields, including high level visits, culture, trade and economic cooperation. He stated that Iceland was set to make use of the new opportunities which could benefit both countries and their peoples. The letter from the Chinese Foreign Minister, Yang Jichi, was on the same notes and he said that the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs was ready to work with Iceland to strengthen healthy and good cooperation between the countries.

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