“Relations between the EU and China are particularly important,” Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou said after talks with his Chinese counterpart, Li Zhaoxing, in the framework of contacts between the Union and the People’s Republic of China, which also marked the last activity of the Greek Presidency.
Both sides agreed to continue their high-level contacts, to cooperate in order to promote political dialogue and mutual understanding, as well as to strengthen cooperation in the economic area (enterprises, agriculture, trade). As noted by Li Zhaoxing, “the deepening of the relationship between the two sides serves our mutual interests and contributes to world peace”.
Turning to the issue of North Korea, Papandreou expressed satisfaction over the multilateral talks in Beijing (23/4/03) and underlined the need for the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. On his part, Li Zhaoxing described the talks between the USA, China and North Korea in Beijing as a good starting point for the settlement of the problem and expressed support for the process of dialogue in order to overcome the various obstacles and differences.
The two sides also discussed issues relating to the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, Iraq, the Middle East and Afghanistan, while the EU raised the issue of respect for human rights in China.