Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference (Excerpts)

June 20, 2012

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Q: Though the Dialogue on the Iranian nuclear issue in Moscow failed to make concrete progress, parties agreed to hold an expert-level meeting in Istanbul on July 3. There is comment that such an agreement ushers in a new phase of continuous engagement between the two sides. How does China respond? What is China's comment on the outcome of the Dialogue?

A: The P5+1 countries and Iran had candid and in-depth exchange of views on substantive issues of the Iranian nuclear program at the Dialogue. Iran responded to the package proposal put forward by the P5+1 countries in Baghdad while the latter also made feedback to Iran's "five-point proposal". The two sides agreed to set up a panel of experts for more detailed discussions on relevant technical details in each other's proposal in order to lay the necessary foundation for the settlement of disputes through follow-up dialogues. In that sense, the Dialogue is pragmatic and useful.

The experts will start working in early July in Istanbul. Lady Ashton, vice President of the European Commission and High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy will, on behalf of the P5+1 countries, stay in communication with Jalili, Secretary of Iranian Supreme National Council, with a view to advancing the dialogue process.

We hold that dialogue and negotiation is the sole correct way to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue. Parties should stay committed to the diplomatic resolution, view their disputes objectively and keep patience and faith. They should seek common ground while shelving differences, adopt a flexible and practical attitude and take full account of each other's concerns. Parties should keep the momentum of dialogue and push for progress in the dialogue which serves their the common interests. Long committed to promoting peace talks, we are ready to continue to play a constructive role for the long-term, comprehensive and proper settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue.

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