Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday called for Sicily to make full use of its resources and expand cooperation with China.

During his state visit to Italy, the Chinese President  made the remarks while meeting with the President of Sicily Nello Musumeci in the region’s capital city Palermo.

Saying that Sicily is a place with rich and profound history and culture, as well as natural resources, President Xi encouraged the Italian island to increase its export of quality farm products to China, adding that China is willing to further cooperate with Sicily in fields such as investment and tourism.

President of Sicily, Musumeci said Sicily’s cooperation with China enjoys a long history as it used to be part of the ancient Silk Road routes.

Sicilian people are friends of the Chinese people, he noted, emphasising that as a key island in the Mediterranean, Sicily possesses a unique advantage.

President of Sicily, Musumeci also echoed President Xi’s proposal to cooperate more in agriculture and tourism, promising to build Sicily into an important stop in the pursuit of the Belt and Road Initiative.

President Xi visited Palermo after wrapping up his visit to Rome, where he met with high-level officials including Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.