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FM: Six-Party Talks to Resume Next Week
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The chief delegates to the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue are to meet in Beijing on July 18 and 19, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang announced at a regular news briefing on Thursday.


They will discuss "the implementation of the initial agreements, as well as arrangements for follow-up actions," Qin said.


Describing the issue as "complicated," Qin said it involved the normalization of ties between North Korea and Japan, economic and energy cooperation, and the establishment of a mechanism for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.


"The systematic program calls for all parties involved to hold dialogue with mutual respect and each party's concerns to be considered," he said.


The two-day meeting will be the first for the chief negotiators of China, North and South Korea, the US, Russia, and Japan since the last round of talks went into recess in late March.


"We hope that through the joint efforts of all parties, the two-day session will end on a positive note" to resolve the complex Korean nuclear issue, Qin said.


Sudanese Vice-President's Visit


The Sudanese First Vice President Salva Kiir Mayardit will pay a six-day official visit to China from Tuesday at the invitation of Vice President Zeng Qinghong.


Mayardit will hold talks with Zeng and meet with other Chinese leaders, Qin said, hinting that the Darfur issue is likely to included in the discussions.


China hopes the Annan Plan is implemented as soon as possible, he said. Kofi Annan, as the UN secretary-general, had proposed a three-phase plan to restore peace in the Darfur region, and Sudan, in principle, has agreed to it.


The UN and the African Union plan to hold a meeting on how to advance the peace process among the rebel groups in Darfur where 2.5 million people are homeless.


Choosing a New IMF Chief 


Qin said the voices of developing nations should be heard when appointing the new chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).


Qin's comments came after the EU on Tuesday decided to back former French Finance Minister Dominique Strauss-Kahn to head the financial institution. Current IMF chief Rodrigo Rato announced last month that he would step down in October for personal reasons, ending his five-year term two years early.


Qin said China would study the EU's decision and consult with other IMF members on the choice of the chief.


Europeans and Americans have traditionally carved up the top jobs in world finance between them, with the IMF traditionally led by a European, and its sister organization, the World Bank, headed by an American, under a so-called gentleman's deal.


Both institutions have been under increasing pressure to give more say to other members and developing countries about issues such as the choice of their respective leaders.


US, Myanmar Officials Meet


At the request of both the US and Myanmar, China had helped arrange a meeting between their representatives in Beijing recently, Qin said.


He did not elaborate on the specific date or details of the meeting.


Qin said, "we believe that the direct dialogue and candid exchange of views between the US and Myanmar on their respective concerns can help promote mutual understanding, and therefore are positive and beneficial."


Middle East Visit


China's special envoy for the Middle East Sun Bigan will visit Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel from July 14 to 21. He will discuss the current situation in the region, particularly the Palestine-Israel issue, with the leaders there, Qin said.


Qin also announced that President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov is to pay a state visit to China from July 17 to 18 as a guest of President Hu Jintao.


Macedonian Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki is to visit China from July 17 to 20 at the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.


(Xinhua News Agency, China Daily July 13, 2007)

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