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FM: Iran urged to further cooperate with IAEA
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China on Tuesday encouraged Iran to abide by UN resolutions and strengthen cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to achieve early solution of its nuclear issue.


"China is working on IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei's newly released report on the Iranian nuclear program, which is objective and professional," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao told a routine press conference yesterday.


"According to the report, some progress has been achieved by Iran and the IAEA. However, Iran has not abided by the demands of the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and suspended its uranium enrichment activities," Liu said.


"We hope Iran will effectively abide by the UN Security Council resolutions and strengthen cooperation with the IAEA, and try to resolve pending issues," Liu said.


"We also hope that the other parties concerned will continue diplomatic efforts to revive negotiations at an early date," Liu said.


ElBaradei released a report last week saying that Iran had made progress in revealing the extent of its nuclear program while refusing to halt enrichment activities.


The United States and some other Western countries have been alleging that Iran may try to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian program. Tehran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.


Responding to a question concerning recent US criticism of China over Iran, Liu called the accusations "groundless," "not in line with the facts" and "harmful."


China always advocates firmly maintaining the international non-proliferation system and works to solve the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiations.


China has joined the Security Council consultations with an active and responsible attitude, the spokesman said.


"We believe China and the US have a common interest over this issue, that is, to safeguard the international nuclear non-proliferation regime," Liu said.


China and the US should work more constructively on this issue, Liu said.


Advance troop of engineering unit to head for Darfur


The advance troop of a 315-men engineering unit is scheduled to head for Sudan's Darfur on Friday to attend the hybrid peacekeeping troops of the Unites Nations and the African Union, said Liu.


The advance troop will leave Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan Province, Liu said.


The UN-AU peacekeeping mission in Darfur is of large scale, and the situation in the region is complicated, which might cause some difficulties in the deployment, said Liu, calling for more patience from the international society.


"China supports the UN, AU and the Sudanese government make continued efforts to solve the problem via dialogue and consultation, "said Liu, adding that China opposed to politicalize relevant technical issues.


China has been committed to sending a 315-men multi-functional engineering unit to Darfur, which would be the first batch of UN-AU peacekeepers in place in Darfur, according to China's Special Representative on African Affairs Liu Guijin.


China congratulates ASEAN on signing of Charter


China on Tuesday congratulated the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on the signing of the ASEAN Charter at a regional summit in Singapore.


"The signing of the ASEAN Charter is a landmark during the 40 years since ASEAN was established and a key result of ASEAN community building," said Liu.


"We believe that under the Charter, ASEAN will continuously advance its integration through building an ASEAN community, to further peace, progress and prosperity in the region and world," Liu said.


Leaders of the 10 members of ASEAN gathered in Singapore on Tuesday for the grouping's 13th summit, where they signed the Charter, which will transform ASEAN into a more effective, rules-based and rules-bound organization.


Citing ASEAN integration as a "strategic concept" aimed at long-term growth, Liu said that China supports the ASEAN integration process and would like to provide assistance.


ASEAN includes Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.


The organization has a total population of about 500 million, a total area of 4.5 million square km, and a combined gross domestic product of almost 700 billion U.S. dollars.


Portuguese PM, EC President to attend China-EU summit


Liu announced that Prime Minister Jose Socrates of Portugal, which currently holds EU's rotating presidency, and European Commission (EC) President Jose Manuel Durao Barroso will attend the 10th China-EU Leaders' Meeting in Beijing on Nov. 28.


They will come at the invitation of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.


China urges Germany to mend bilateral ties as soon as possible


China urged Germany to take effective measures to mend Sino-German ties which it says have been undermined by Chancellor Angela Merkel's meeting with Dalai Lama.


"The German leader's meeting with Dalai Lama has severely impaired Sino-German ties and damaged the common interests of both countries," Liu said.


"China attached great importance to the relations with Germany and we feel sorry for the damage of bilateral ties," Liu said.


He urged the German side to take effective actions as soon as possible to erase the shadow that had been cast on the ties.


China is confident about the prospects for Sino-German ties, said the spokesman. China values the position Germany holds in the European Union, and the role it plays in the European Union on promoting China-EU relations, he said.


"As a country that holds such a vital position and plays such a key role, Germany, in dealing with Sino-German ties, should not only take the common interests of both countries into consideration, but also think over the overall ties between China and EU," Liu said.


(Xinhua News Agency November 21, 2007)

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