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Support for Russian Proposal on Iran Nuclear Issue
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Foreign Ministry spokesperson Kong Quan told a regular press conference yesterday that China is supportive of a proposal developed by Russia to help manage the Iran nuclear issue.


He said China holds that a proposal raised by Russia is "a good start to trying to break the current stalemate" and worth serious discussion among the concerned parties.


Russia is helping Iran build its first nuclear power plant and has proposed that uranium enrichment -- the most sensitive part of the nuclear fuel cycle -- be carried out under a joint venture on Russian soil.


China has not received any formal invitation from the Iranian side to participate in the uranium enrichment activities in Russia, Kong added.


Kong added that China hopes that all parties concerned take concrete actions to ease the current tense situation.


The key thing is to break the deadlock in negotiations over Iranian nuclear issue, which requires concerted efforts of all relevant parties, Kong said.


China would like to see that all parties concerned exercise great restraint, be patient and step up diplomatic efforts so as to create favorable conditions for the resumption of the talks before the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) convenes a meeting in February to discuss Iran's nuclear issue, Kong added.


Kong highlighted that China opposes using sanctions or threatening to use sanctions to resolve similar issues.


China put forward that the legal rights to peacefully use nuclear energy of all signatory countries to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation Nuclear Weapons should be respected, and countries should correspondingly also strictly abide by the rules and discharge their obligations.


On Thursday, State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan and Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing met with Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, who arrived in Beijing for a one-day visit on Thursday morning from Moscow.


Turning to China-Africa relations, Kong said China will strengthen cooperation with African nations in politics, economy and trade, education and international affairs.


In the political field, Kong said, China will enhance bilateral high-level visits as well as people-to-people exchanges at all levels.


As for economic and trade cooperation, Kong said, China will further diversify the forms and deepen the substance in its cooperation with African countries.


"We also have great prospects in educational cooperation. Many African students have studied or are studying in China," Kong noted.


"China will continue to step up coordination and cooperation in international affairs with African countries so as to safeguard the rights and interests of developing countries," he added.


The third ministerial-level conference under the China-Africa Cooperation Forum is to be held in Beijing this autumn.


According to Kong, China would like to hold a summit of heads of state during the Forum.


(Xinhua News Agency January 27, 2006)

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