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China Supports Diplomatic Talks on Iran Issue
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China supports all the efforts made to resolve the Iran nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiations, said Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing on Friday.

Li talked with his Iranian counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki on phone and they exchanged views on the latest development of the nuclear issue.

On Thursday night, a meeting on the Iran nuclear issue attended by the foreign ministers of the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China - the five UN Security Council permanent members - as well as Germany, was concluded at the British Embassy in Austria.

The senior diplomats, including Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo, reached an agreement on a package of incentives to persuade Iran to halt its nuclear enrichment program, including an offer to suspend sanctions.

"We believe they (the proposals) offer Iran the chance to reach a negotiated agreement based on cooperation," British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett told a press conference.

U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns said Washington was "very satisfied" with the agreement.

The United States said on Wednesday that it would join the negotiations between the European Union and Iran if Tehran suspends uranium enrichment activities.

In response, Iranian officials said on Thursday they were open to negotiations but rejected the U.S. condition to suspend all nuclear enrichment activities.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao said at Thursday's regular press briefing that China welcomes the U.S. offer.

During a telephone conversation with U.S. President George Bushon Thursday night, Chinese President Hu Jintao told his U.S. counterpart that China is ready to maintain contact with the United States and play a constructive role in resuming negotiations as soon as possible.

The Chinese government believed the international non-proliferation system should be maintained and the Iran nuclear issue should be resolved in a peaceful way through diplomatic talks, he said.

China has always called for a diplomatic solution to the Iran nuclear issue, urging all parties concerned to remain patient and restrained, and to show flexibility.

(Xinhua News Agency June 3, 2006)

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