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President Hu Jintao Holds Telephone Conversation with French President Chirac

On the evening of April 1, President Hu Jintao, at request, held telephone conservation with French President Chirac. The two heads of state agreed that China-France relations continue to maintain the sound momentum of rapid development. The successful Chinese Cultural Year in France and the French Cultural Year in China help deepen the understanding and friendship between the two peoples. They expressed the hope that the mutual visit between Chinese Premier and French Prime Minister in the year 2005 and the joint efforts of both sides will constantly push China-France all-round strategic partnership to new levels.

Chirac reaffirmed that the arms embargo against China has long become outdated and should be lifted as soon as possible. France will continue to make efforts to that end.

Hu pointed out that as China-EU relations move forward EU's arms embargo against China becomes increasingly incompatible with the times. To eliminate the political obstacle to China-EU relations is a logical requirement of the development of situation and complies with the fundamental interest of both sides. It will greatly promote the vigorous development of China-EU relations.

The two heads of state also exchanged opinions on the Middle East situation and other issues.

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