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Chinese FM, Rice talk over phone about Mideast crisis, bilateral ties
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Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Monday talked over phone about the flare-up of the Middle East crisis as well as the Sino-U.S. relations.

Yang expressed China's deep concern about the latest escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the volatile situation in the Middle East, and the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

"We hope that parties concerned could halt military operations and armed conflicts immediately, ease the situation and create conditions for continuing to settle disputes through political means," Yang said.

The Chinese foreign minister said he believed that the ultimate way out of the Mideast issue lies in properly solving the disputes in line with the spirit of mutual understanding, relevant UN resolutions, the land-for-peace principle, Arab peace initiatives and the Roadmap peace plan to realize a peaceful coexistence.

Rice expressed her regret about having to cancel her scheduled trip to China this week for an event marking the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between the United States and China.

She said the U.S.-Sino relations enjoyed a good period of time, believing that the ties would continue achieving fine development in the future.

Yang said the bilateral ties had continued to develop and made fruitful achievements over the last 30 years since the establishment of Sino-U.S. diplomatic relations.

In the past eight years, the two countries deepened and expanded exchanges and cooperation in various fields, Yang said, contributing the development to the efforts of U.S. President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Rice.

(Xinhua News Agency January 5, 2009)

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