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FMs Ink Deals to Promote Relations
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China and Russia agreed yesterday to build a bridge over the Argun River, the border between the two countries, and set up a working commission on immigration as part of efforts to promote bilateral ties.


The agreements were inked after Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing held talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Beijing.


Both also pledged to work together to complete the demarcation of their borders before the end of next year.


The two ministers also exchanged views on international and regional issues of joint concern, including the development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Iran's nuclear issue and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.


Lavrov made the official visit after attending a regular meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the SCO member countries China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in Shanghai on Monday.


Both agreed to coordinate their diplomacy towards Iraq, Afghanistan and efforts to reform the UN, Lavrov told a news conference in Beijing after the talks.


"Russia and China will not vote for the use of force in resolving the Iranian nuclear dispute," he said.


He said Moscow and Beijing hold the same position on the nuclear issues in Iran and the North Korea: both disputes require diplomacy, not force.


However, Lavrov also said Russia believed Iran needed to do more to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog.


Describing the talks with his Chinese host as "long and pragmatic," Lavrov said China-Russia relations had reached unprecedented levels since the summit meeting of President Hu Jintao and President Vladimir Putin in March.


The two leaders will also meet at the SCO's leader summit in Shanghai in June, the G-8 summit in St. Petersburg in July and the APEC summit this autumn, Lavrov said.


During his meeting with the Russian foreign minister, President Hu said he hoped China and Russia would actively promote bilateral cooperation in big projects covering economy, trade, energy, investment and technology to achieve quick results.


(China Daily May 17, 2006)

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