China urges progress at Six-Party Talks

(China Daily/Reuters)
Updated: 2006-12-13 06:53

China urged all relevant parties in the forthcoming Six-Party Talks to strive for concrete progress, setting no conclusion date for the long-running nuclear negotiations.

And in Washington, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Tuesday Washington would not set a deadline to reach a deal in six-party talks on North Korea but made clear next week's negotiations must not be held just for the sake of talking.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said yesterday that China has an "open attitude" towards the talks, which are due to begin on Monday at the Beijing Diaoyutai Guesthouse.

He said the opening of the second phase of the fifth round of the nuclear talks reflects the fact that all parties are ready to have an exchange of ideas.

The talks will focus on how to implement the obligations and consensus reached in the joint statement of September 2005, Qin said.

He said the meeting will be quite flexible as the parties concerned will be allowed two-way and multilateral discussions.

"Whether it's in the meeting or on the sidelines, or even in the toilet, all sides can engage in the talks," he said.

Qin said whether the talks can achieve substantial progress depends on the joint efforts of all parties concerned. He urged them to work closely towards the goal of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.

In another development, Qin also announced the opening of a four-day Seminar of Israeli and Palestinian People for Peace on the Middle East Question in Beijing, beginning tomorrow.

Qin said at the invitation of the foreign ministry, former minister of state of the Palestinian National Authority Abdel Kader Hamed and former minister of Justice of Israel Yossi Beilin will head the two delegations. They will also pay a visit to Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing.

Qin said this is the first time for China to host such a seminar in Beijing, adding the country firmly supports all efforts conducive to peace in the Middle East.

Assistant Foreign Minister Zhai Jun will address the seminar, which will also be attended by Chinese envoy to the Middle East Sun Bigan and other academic researchers.

The seminar will be conducted through bilateral and trilateral discussions.


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