BEIJING, July 20 (Xinhua) -- President Hu Jintao on Friday called for closer cooperation between China and Egypt as he met with a special envoy of his Egyptian counterpart Mohamed Morsi.
"China attaches great importance to its ties with Egypt," Hu told Mohamed Kamel Amr, also Egypt's foreign minister, adding that Egypt is one of China's most important strategic partners.
"In a complex and volatile international situation, it's of significance to cement and promote China-Egypt strategic cooperative relations," Hu said.
Hu said the two countries should increase political interactions and continue to understand and support each other on issues involving their core interests and major concerns, as well as enhance coordination in international and regional affairs.
China is willing to boost exchanges and cooperation with Egypt in trade, agriculture and culture, Hu told the Egyptian foreign minister.
Amr is in Beijing to attend the opening ceremony of the fifth ministerial meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
Morsi, sworn in as Egyptian president on June 30, didn't attend the opening ceremony, as he is busy with domestic affairs.
"China is willing to join hands with Egypt, co-chair for the FOCAC, to create a new type of China-Africa strategic partnership," Hu said.
"We believe that the traditional friendship between China and Egypt will be consolidated and strategic cooperative relations will be further deepened and promoted," said the Chinese president.
The Chinese side believes that the Egyptian people are wise and able to address problems that the nation is facing and promote social stability, economic growth and the people's happiness, as well as make new contributions to peace, stability and development in the Middle East and the world at large, Hu said.
Both Egypt and China are nations with ancient civilizations and the people of the two countries have enjoyed a deep and traditional friendship, Amr said, adding that the Egyptian people regard China as a good friend and partner.
Egypt is now facing the arduous task of improving its economy and its people's livelihoods, Amr said, adding that the Egyptian side hopes to learn from China's success and increase economic cooperation with the Chinese side.
The Egyptian government welcomes Chinese enterprises to invest in the African country, said the foreign minister.
The Egyptian sides firmly believes that closer cooperation between Egypt and China serves not only the interests of the two nations, but also those of Africa and the Arab world, Amr added.
During the meeting, Hu invited Morsi to visit China "when it is convenient for both sides."