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 Wen welcomes EU president

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PostSubject: Wen welcomes EU president   Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:18 am

http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Asia/Story/STIStory_457343.html

BEIJING - CHINESE Premier Wen Jiabao on Friday congratulated the European Union for creating the new posts of president and foreign policy chief, calling it a 'step forward' for EU integration.

At a summit in Brussels, European leaders named Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy to be the bloc's first-ever president, and appointed EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton as Europe's new top diplomat.

The posts were created under the EU's Lisbon treaty which reforms decision-making in a bid to give the 27-nation bloc more credibility in dealing with the likes of the United States and China.

'The European Council has chosen a new president and a new high representative for foreign and security policy, and this marks another important step forward for European integration,' Mr Wen said. 'We express our warm congratulations for this,' he told visiting European dignitaries during a meeting in Beijing.

Mr Wen added that China supports European integration 'because we argue in favour of a diverse and multipolar world'. US President Barack Obama on Thursday also welcomed the EU move, saying it would make Europe an 'even stronger partner' for the United States.

China and the EU will hold an annual summit on Nov 30 in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing, with climate change, the global economy, and trade concerns on the agenda. -- AFP

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