New Delhi: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Monday said India is an important neighbor and added that the prime purpose of his visit was to lay more emphasis on the ways to increase areas of mutual interest and intensify co-operation.

PM raises incursion issue with Li

"India is China's important neighbour. (The purpose of) my current visit to India is three-fold - to increase mutual interest, intensify cooperation and to face the future," Li said outside Rastrapathi Bhavan in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The Chinese leader arrived in India on Sunday on his first overseas tour since he took office in March. On Monday, both sides are expected to hold formal talks.

Li is heading an 80-member delegation that includes Foreign Minister Wang Yi. On Tuesday he will go to Mumbai, from where he will go to Pakistan, Switzerland and Germany.

Li had last visited India 27 years ago as the head of a youth delegation and has said he has fond memories of that trip.

‘Mutual trust key to regional peace’

Li Keqiang, on Monday also said peace and regional stability cannot be a reality without strategic mutual trust between China and India.

"And likewise the development of prosperity of the world cannot be a reality without the cooperation and simultaneous development of China and India," he said after inspecting the guard of honour at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

 Li, who was accompanied by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said he and Singh had "a most productive session" of talks on Sunday and he expected "more bountiful results" from further discussions.

(Agencies)

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