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China Wishes to Expand Ties With Iran

Li Peng, chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, said Friday that China is willing to strengthen cooperation with Iran.

The Chinese top legislator made the remark while meeting with an Iranian parliamentary delegation led by Mohsen Mirdamadi, head of the Majlis (parliament) Commission for National Security and Foreign Policy.

"We are willing to constantly develop a long-term, stable and mutually beneficial relationship with Iran on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence," Li said.

The Chinese government and people have always valued their friendship with Iran, and it is a set policy for the Chinese government to develop friendly cooperation with Iran, he said.

Li and Mirdamadi agreed that China and Iran share a lot of views on important regional and world issues, and have a lot of common interests in maintaining regional peace and promoting regional development.

Mirdamadi said the two countries should make greater efforts to find effective ways of expanding cooperation in the political, economic and cultural sectors.

China is willing to strengthen coordination and expand cooperation with Iran so as to make contributions to world peace and development, Li said.

China and Iran enjoy traditional friendship that can be dated back to centuries ago when businessmen were traveling on the ancient Silk Road that linked both nations, Li said, adding that such a friendship has been consolidated in recent years.

Present at the meeting were Zeng Jianhui, chairman of the NPC Foreign Affairs Committee, Zhang Fengxiang, member of the NPC Foreign Affairs Committee, and vice foreign minister Yang Wenchang.

The Iran delegation arrived here Thursday for a week-long goodwill visit. Apart from Beijing, the delegation will visit the cities of Shenzhen and Nanjing. The delegation is here at the invitation of the NPC Foreign Affairs Committee.

(Xinhua 02/23/2001)

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