China eager for Iranian nuclear talks

Sept. 25, 2013 at 10:17 AM
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BEIJING, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- The Chinese government said Wednesday there should be a certain degree of mutual trust in ongoing preparations for nuclear talks with Iran.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, a former nuclear negotiator, defended the right to a peaceful nuclear energy program during this Tuesday address to the U.N. General Assembly.

He said it was "imperative" for Iran to remove any concerns about its nuclear progress but stressed members of the international community should respect its right to a peaceful program.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Wednesday during his regular press conference Beijing was in favor of more international dialogue on Iran's nuclear program.

"We support parties concerned with Iran's nuclear issue intensifying communication and increasing mutual trust, as these are conducive to the development of talks," he was quoted as saying by China's official Xinhua News Agency.

China is one of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, plus Germany, involved in debates over Iran's nuclear program. Two rounds of talks between Iran and the so-called P5+1 were held in Kazakhstan this year with few breakthroughs.

U.S. President Barack Obama called on Secretary of State John Kerry to reach out to the Iranians on the nuclear issue.

Hong said Kerry's Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, was slated to talk part in ministerial meetings on the issue during talks Thursday at the United Nations.

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