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'Talks may remove complexities'

Pranab said he hoped to have a "very useful" meeting with Chinese leaders.

india Updated: May 29, 2006 11:54 IST

Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said "complex" problems that exist in Sino-Indian bilateral ties could be resolved through dialogues and mutual understanding.

"We can resolve the complex issues in Sino-Indian relations through dialogues, discussions and mutual understanding," Mukherjee told Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing during a meeting in Beijing.

Though he did not elaborate on the 'complex' matters, he may have been alluding to the unresolved boundary issue that has largely impaired bilateral ties from blossoming to its full potential.

Asserting that India and China were "good friends", he stressed that their bilateral ties were very important for both sides.

Earlier, Li warmly welcomed Mukherjee to China on his first official visit, exchanged pleasantries and posed for photographs.

The defence minister kicked off his visit to China with a briefing session at the Academy of Military Science of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) in Beijing.

Mukherjee, who arrived in Beijing on Sunday for a six-day official visit, also exchanged views with Chinese military experts on issues of common interest.

Mukherjee is also scheduled to visit the ultra-sensitive Beijing Aero Space Command and Control Centre of the PLA, the world's largest standing army of over 2.5 million.

On his arrival from Japan on Sunday, the Defence Minister said that he hoped to have a "very useful" meeting with the Chinese leadership to further consolidate India's strategic relationship with Beijing.

"I am expecting a very useful meeting with the leadership of China in the context of our growing relations and strategic partnership for peace and stability," he said.

"I do hope that this visit will also help to achieve that objective," he said.

Mukherjee will have formal talks with his Chinese counterpart General Cao Gangchuan in the evening after which the two sides are expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on exchanges and cooperation in the field of defence.

The MoU is expected to be a major confidence building measure to ensure continued peace and tranquillity along the disputed Sino-Indian border.

Mukherjee will also call on Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao tomorrow.

During his stay in China, he will also visit the headquarters of Lanzhou Military Region in Lanzhou city in north-western China's Gansu Province and tour the Shanghai Naval Base in the country's economic hub in east China.

Mukherjee will leave for Singapore on June 2 to continue his three-nation official visit.