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Hu, Bush Discuss Iran Nuclear Issue
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Chinese President Hu Jintao said that he welcomed the US stance on resolving the Iran nuclear issue through diplomatic means and its willingness to join negotiations.

The Chinese government believes that the international non-proliferation system should be maintained and the Iran issue resolved in a peaceful way through diplomatic means and talks, Hu said in a telephone conversation with Bush on Thursday night.

"China is ready to maintain contact and coordination with the US and play a constructive role in resuming negotiations at an early date," according to a statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Bush told Hu that his country was determined to resolve the Iran nuclear issue through diplomatic means.

He said as long as Iran agreed to suspend its uranium enrichment activities in verifiable ways, the US would participate in relevant negotiations.

The Iran nuclear issue is reaching a critical stage.

Earlier on Thursday, Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters in Teheran that Iran welcomed direct talks with Washington, but would not give up its nuclear rights.

Senior representatives from the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - the US, Russia, China, France and the UK - and Germany met in Vienna on Thursday and agreed on a package of incentives for Iran to halt nuclear fuel work, according to British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett.

"We believe (the proposals) offer Iran the chance to reach a negotiated agreement based on cooperation," Beckett said at a news conference.

"We have agreed a set of far reaching proposals as a basis for discussions with Iran."  

Hu also told Bush he was ready to work with him to advance bilateral relations in a healthy and stable way.

Hu said during his visit to the US in April, he and Bush reached an important consensus on promoting bilateral constructive and cooperative relations in the 21st century.

"This is of great significance to the development of relations between China and the US," Hu said.
Bush said it was important for both leaders to exchange ideas on strategic cooperation through various means including telephone conversations.

Describing Hu's visit to the US as a success, Bush said he was looking forward to meeting Hu again.

Hu paid his first state visit to the US from this April 18 to 21. Bush's last visit to Beijing was in November 2005.

(Xinhua News Agency June 2, 2006)

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