Statement by Mr. Li Song, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Arms Control and Disarmament of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at the Opening Ceremony of the Humanitarian Demining Training Course for Sudan
Your Excellency Ambassador Mirhgani,
Your Excellency Superintendent Zhang Yafei,
It is a great pleasure for me to come to Nanjing in this blooming season of spring to attend the opening ceremony of the humanitarian demining training course for Sudan. First, please allow me, on behalf of the Department of Arms Control and Disarmament of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to extend our warm welcome to the 20 trainees arriving from Sudan. I would also like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to our colleagues from the Ministry of Defense as well as the faculty members of the PLA University of Science and Technology for their great efforts in organizing this training course.
As a former mine-affected developing country, China always shares the concerns of peoples from other mine-affected countries and has actively participated in international demining activities in more than 10 Asian and African countries through various means of assistance, which has been highly appreciated by the recipient countries and the international community.
As pledged in the Action Plan adopted in 2006 at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, the Chinese Government is committed to continuing its support of and participation in the humanitarian demining process in Africa by providing assistance within its capacity in money or in kind or through personnel training. The current demining assistance programme for Sudan represents another important step taken by the Chinese Government in fulfilling the above-mentioned commitment, and also demonstrates China's firm support for peace and development in Sudan. I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that China will continue to support the national reconciliation cause in Sudan, as well as the achievement of constant progress in Sudan's peace process. At the same time, on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, China is ready to further promote its friendship and cooperation with all Sudanese people including people from southern Sudan, so as to make favorable contributions to peace, stability and development in Sudan.
I believe that during this training course, with a strong sense of responsibility, our teachers will patiently convey their demining techniques and experience to our Sudanese friends without any reservation. On the other hand, driven by a sense of mission, our Sudanese friends will also be able to make great achievements in this course after diligent study and hard training, so as to make full use of what will been learnt here to serve the demining process in Sudan after returning home.
Over nearly half a century since the establishment of the diplomatic relations between China and Sudan, the two countries have always trusted and supported each other and the bilateral cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual respect in various fields have constantly yielded great achievements. We sincerely hope that, with our joint efforts, this demining assistance programme for Sudan will further enhance the traditional friendship between China and Sudan and promote constant development of our bilateral relations.
To conclude, I would like to wish this training course a complete success.