Be flexible and pragmatic: China to Iran



Be flexible and pragmatic: China to Iran Beijing: China on Friday asked Iran to be "flexible and pragmatic" in addressing international concerns over its controversial nuclear programme.

The advice was given by Chinese President Hu Jintao during his meeting with his Iranian counterpart President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Noting that new progress has been made during the Baghdad talks on Iran's nuclear programme, Hu said China hopes the "Iranian side can weigh up the situation, take a flexible and pragmatic approach, have serious talks with all six related nations, and enhance dialogues and cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency so as to ensure the tensions can be eased through negotiations, state-run Xinhua reported.

He also said China will continue to play a constructive role in settling the issue through peaceful means.

China, which banked on oil supplies from Iran, backed Tehran in facing pressures from US and Western countries.

But China in recent times has showed wariness by gradually cutting down its Iranian oil supplies.

Ahmadinejad told Hu that Iran hopes to ease tension over the nuclear issue through negotiations, adding that it would make further efforts and continue to maintain contacts with all sides.

Meanwhile, Chinese and Russian soldiers arrived in Tajikistan for staging ninth joint military drills under the SCO framework.

The drills will involve over two thousand military personnel from all six SCO member states which included, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, besides China and Russia.

The exercise will focus on anti-terrorism actions in mountainous areas. Defence and security cooperation is an important part of relations among SCO member states, state-run CCTV reported here.

PTI