BISHKEK: President Hu Jintao discussed the Iranian nuclear issue and bilateral ties with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday before the start of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit today.
Hu said China is keen on resolving the nuclear issue through peaceful negotiations.
He said China understands Iran's concerns but hopes the country shows flexibility for the peaceful settlement of the issue.
Ahmadinejad said that Iran will not go beyond international laws and regulations of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in using nuclear energy.
"Iran will continue to work closely with the IAEA. At the same time, Iran will maintain contact with other parties such as China on the issue," Ahmadinejad said.
The United States and other Western countries accuse Iran of developing atomic weapons under the cover of civilian nuclear use, but Teheran insists that it only wants to generate electricity using nuclear power.
The UN Security Council has imposed sanctions against Teheran for its nuclear program since December, demanding a halt to uranium enrichment activities. Iran's senior officials, however, have repeatedly refused to comply.
Hu said that China will make joint efforts with Iran to enrich bilateral ties and enhance cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual benefit and trust.
Ahmadinejad said Iran will continue to work with China to develop bilateral ties and expand cooperation in economy and trade, energy, culture, sports and science.
Iran is one of four observers at the SCO. The other three are India, Pakistan and Mongolia.
(China Daily 08/16/2007 page1)