China tells Iran to be pragmatic on N-talks
BEIJING CHINESE President Hu Jintao on Friday told his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, that he saw ‘new progress’ in international talks on Iran’s nuclear programme.
The talks came during the final day of the Iranian president’s visit to China.
China’s Foreign Ministry quoted Hu as saying talks between Iran and six international powers had made progress in Baghdad last month. Hu urged Tehran to take a ‘flexible and pragmatic approach’ and ‘engage in serious talks’ with the six nations: China, the United States, Russia, Britain, France and Germany.
Iran should also increase cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency ‘so as to ensure the tensions can be eased through negotiations,” the ministry quoted Hu as saying.
Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying Iran was committed to resolving the international standoff over its nuclear programme “through dialogue” and was “willing to maintain contact with relevant parties.” The Iranian leader briefed Hu on Iran’s nuclear policies, the ministry said without elaborating.
Ahmadinejad said Iran hoped to expand cooperation with China in trade, energy, agriculture and infrastructure.
China, Russia and four central Asian nations issued a joint statement expressing “deep concern over the developments surrounding Iran” following a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Beijing on Thursday.” They regard any attempt to resolve the Iranian issue by force as unacceptable as such attempts will produce unpredictable and serious consequences threatening the stability and security of the region and even the world,” the SCO leaders said.
Ahmadinejad attended the summit as an observer.