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China scheduled to host Middle East meeting
( 2003-11-14 14:41) (China Daily)

China yesterday announced plans to host a United Nations' Asian meeting on the Palestinian crisis next month.

The summit will be held in Beijing from December 16 to 18 under the theme of mobilizing international support for a peaceful resolution in the Middle East, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said at yesterday's briefing.

He said about 200 officials and experts from across the world would attend the meeting. Meanwhile, the UN and China's Peking University will jointly hold non-governmental organization seminar on the Middle East issue.

"China is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and has been committed to the peace process in the Middle East for a long time," Liu said. "We're willing to work with the international community to continue to make efforts in this regard."

As for the new round of six-party talks on the nuclear standoff in the Korean Peninsula, the spokesman said all countries concerned were still deliberating on when the new discussions will be held, and China is working with other parties to make it earlier rather than later.

Liu said Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo met his Japanese counterpart and other officials yesterday to prepare for the talks.

Besides Japan, China has met with three other countries - the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United States and the Republic of Korea on the preparation work.

Liu said China hopes to contact Russia as soon as possible to discuss preparation of the multi-nation negotiations.

In another development, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said yesterday that China supports Iran's co-operation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Li made the remarks during talks with visiting Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamal Kharazi on Iran's implementation of an additional protocol to safeguard agreements with the IAEA.

Kharazi said Iran will continue to co-operate with the IAEA and sign the additional protocol. Iran has stopped its uranium enrichment programme, but says it has the right to pursue the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

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