|China eyes new progress in Gulf region contacts|
Chinese President Hu Jintao on Friday pledged to work with Qatar to promote progress in its relations with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Hu made the remarks in a meeting with visiting Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jasim Bin Jabir Al-thani in China's southernmost city, Sanya.
China attaches great importance to developing friendly cooperative ties with Qatar, Hu said, vowing to work closely with the country to cement high-level exchanges and strengthen strategic cooperation.
Concerning the Beijing Olympic Games, Hamad told Hu his country firmly supported China's holding of the event, adding he believes the Games will achieve full success.
In response, Hu said that China will do its best to fulfill its commitment to people around the world and make good preparations to hold a successful Olympic Games.
Hailing the achievement of bilateral ties, Hu said since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1988, the two countries had made important progress in cooperation in trade, energy and other areas and maintained sound exchanges in international and regional issues.
He called on both sides to further tap into the potential for cooperation, expand mutual investment and enhance cooperation in energy, trade, investment and contract projects.
Hu expected both sides to strengthen coordination in international and regional issues, jointly promote peace and stability of the Middle East and Gulf region, boost political dialogue and economic cooperation, and facilitate negotiations on a bilateral free trade area.
Hamad, who started a China tour last Sunday as a guest of Premier Wen Jiabao, termed his visit "fruitful".
The two sides had reached a series of agreements to expand cooperation in energy, investment and air transport, and drawn up a blueprint for the development of bilateral ties.
It is Hamad's first China trip since he took office a year ago. He is scheduled to attend the opening ceremony of the annual meeting of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) on Saturday in Boao, Hainan Province.
The meeting, with the theme of "Green Asia: Moving Towards Win-Win Through Changes", has attracted 10 foreign leaders and more than 2,000 participants.