President Pratibha Patil discussed bilateral issues of mutual interest and situation in the region with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, who described her visit here as “significant” as it coincided with the 60th year of establishment of Sino-India diplomatic ties.

Ms. Patil, who arrived here on Wednesday on a six-day visit, was welcomed warmly by Mr. Wen at the Great Hall of the People.

“It is a great pleasure to have you here. Let me welcome you to China. You are the first (Indian) President to visit in a decade,” Mr. Wen said, while welcoming Ms. Patil.

The Chinese Premier said the visit is “significant” as it comes at a time when the two countries are commemorating the 60th year of establishment of diplomatic relations.

Referring to the India-style Buddhist temple in Loyang in central China, which Ms. Patil will inaugurate during her trip, Mr. Wen said this is yet another effort by the two countries to promote friendly relations.

Mr. Wen said he would discuss all bilateral issues of mutual interest with Ms. Patil.

In her remarks, Ms. Patil said: “I am very much pleased to visit you in China and I thank for the hospitality extended to me and my delegation. Excellent arrangements have been made for the visit and I thank you for that.”

She also referred to Mr. Wen’s last visit to India.

“We cherish your visit to India and remember your constructive role in building a strategic partnership between the two countries,” she said. Ms. Patil will meet President Hu Jintao later in the day.

While Ms. Patil was assisted by Minister of State for Food Processing Subodh Kant Sahay, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, Indian Ambassador S. Jaishankar, the Chinese team included Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and senior officials.

Issues like issuance of stapled visas to Kashmiris by China and Beijing’s support for India’s bid for a permanent seat in the UNSC are believed to have figured during the discussions.

Ms. Patil had indicated on Wednesday that she will seek China’s support for India’s bid for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.

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