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Gilani: China best, most trusted friend

May 8, 2011 at 11:23 PM   |   Comments

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, May 8 (UPI) -- China is Pakistan's "best and most trusted friend," Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said ahead of his visit to the Communist country this month.

Gilani, speaking Sunday in Islamabad on the 60th anniversary of Pakistan-China diplomatic relations, said their friendship was an anchor of peace and stability, the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

China has been a close friend of Pakistan for decades and the relationship between the two nuclear powers is referred to as "all-weather," strategic cooperative partners.

"We are proud to have China as our best and most trusted friend. And China will always find Pakistan standing beside it at all times," he said.

"When we speak of this friendship as being taller than the Himalayas and deeper than the oceans it truly captures the essence of our relationship," Gilani added, noting Pakistani President Asia Ali Zardari has already visited China six times.

Pakistani is under intense pressure to explain the presence of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden for years in the garrison town of Abbottabad, near Islamabad, before he was killed in a pre-dawn raid last Monday by U.S. forces on his huge compound.

Other Pakistani officials welcomed a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement that Pakistan had sacrificed much in the war against terrorism.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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