Diplomacy 'key to resolve Iran nuclear issue'

By Qin Jize (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-01-11 07:04

China seeks diplomatic negotiations in resolving the Iran nuclear issue, and will continue to play a constructive role in achieving the goal, Premier Wen Jiabao told visiting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Beijing yesterday.

Wen said China firmly supports the international nuclear non-proliferation regime, and UN Resolution 1737 adopted by the Security Council reflects the grave concern over Iran's nuclear program by the international community.

Olmert's three-day China trip is the final leg of his visit to the five permanent members of the UN Security Council aimed at assessing consequences of Iran's possible nuclear-weapon capability.

Zhu Weilie, a researcher on the Middle East, said Olmert's biggest mission during the trip is to exchange views with the Chinese government on the issue.

Five days earlier, Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani visited China and conveyed Iran's stance on the nuclear issue. During talks with Larijani, President Hu Jintao expressed the hope that Iran would make a "serious response" to Resolution 1737.

China's efforts to kick-start the dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians and push forward the peace process in the Middle East is also high on the agenda.

Wen said China supports the peaceful co-existence of Israel and Palestine and sees the Palestinian issue as the core of the Middle East issue. It hopes Israel, Syria and Lebanon take substantive measures to build mutual trust and create conditions for the restart of peace talks.

"History and reality have proven that force cannot settle the Middle East issue but only increase estrangement and animosity," Wen said.

"China is ready to contribute to the Middle East peace process and to dialogue between the Arab world and Israel," Wen said.

Olmert said Israel is willing to resolve the Middle East issue through peaceful negotiations; and expressed appreciation for China's long-term efforts at promoting the Middle East peace process.

The visit by Olmert, who is scheduled to meet Hu today, is also to mark the 15th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.

Being a descendent of a Jewish family that lived in Harbin, capital of Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Olmert said he had a spiritual connection with the country.

"I wish my parents were alive for them to be able to see that we are back to the place where my family came from to strengthen the friendship of two great nations and two great countries," he told Wen.

(China Daily 01/11/2007 page1)

Top China News  
Today's Top News  
Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours